GOES-R Satellites

GOES is a satellite that operates in geostationary orbit, continuously monitoring the continental United States, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Central America, and southern Canada. Its three-axis body-stabilized design enables it to view the Earth’s surface more frequently, image clouds, and measure the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. GOES also monitors the development and movement of storms and other atmospheric phenomena, providing real-time weather information.

GOES-R data is useful for a variety of meteorological applications, including predicting weather and fire behavior. These images help meteorologists better predict where to direct their efforts when dealing with environmental hazards. For example, they can identify which clouds are most likely to ignite fires, and predict where the fires are likely to spread. The images can also be used to measure cloud cover and air quality effects.

GOES satellites scan Earth every 15 minutes to provide continuous weather information. They provide satellite images that show landmasses, state and county boundaries, and other features. The GOES East satellite provides an overview of eastern North America, while GOES West provides a view of western North America. While the GOES satellites are constantly monitoring the Earth, their schedules can be modified to account for the weather conditions in a particular area.

After GOES-A, GOES-B, and GOES-C, Space Systems/Loral built the next five GOES satellites under contract with NASA. ITT Aerospace/Communication Division built the imagers and sounders on each satellite. GOES-A and GOES-B were designed to last three years, while GOES-C, -D, and -E were designed to last five years. The GOES-T satellites will launch in March 2022.

GOES-R series of geostationary environmental satellites is the largest technological advancement in weather monitoring in a generation. GOES-R satellites can monitor weather over a vast area with high resolution. This allows for a more accurate forecast and monitoring of severe weather on a minute-to-minute scale.

GOES-R satellites are also proving extremely valuable in helping scientists study Earth and space weather. These satellites can predict dangerous weather events and help keep emergency response personnel safe. The data they provide are invaluable and can save countless lives. The satellites are launched to monitor the Earth’s climate and help people plan ahead.

GOES-R satellites provide real-time mapping of lightning activity, advanced imagery, and atmospheric measurements. They will also provide ten-minute flex mode, which is similar to the previous flex mode, except that full disk images are generated every 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes. The GOES-16 and GOES-17 will still provide scans of the Contiguous U.S. (CONUS) and Pacific U.S. (PACUS). The GOES-17 satellite will also provide scans every 60 seconds for two mesoscale domains.

GOES-18 is currently undergoing post-launch testing to prepare for its August 2022 Pacific hurricane season debut. Its ABI will provide critical information to hurricane forecasters in the eastern Pacific. The new satellite will replace GOES-17 by early 2023.