GOES Satellites Are Essential to Global Weather Monitoring


GOES is an acronym for geostationary orbiting satellite. The instruments that monitor Earth have regular schedules for scanning the globe. GOES-East and GOES-West observe the entire visible hemisphere and observe various weather phenomena. GOES data are also provided by the CWG and NCAR. The spectral response functions of GOES satellites are produced by the two organizations. These instruments are used by meteorologists to monitor the Earth’s climate and predict weather patterns.

The GOES-R satellites are operated by NASA and NOAA as a cooperative effort. NOAA manages the satellites and spacecraft, while NASA oversees the acquisition of scientific instruments. The two agencies work closely to ensure that the satellites meet mission requirements and provide the highest quality data for scientific research. The two organizations also co-locate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. There, they develop the satellites and provide the necessary ground services to help the world keep track of the environment.

The GOES system uses geosynchronous equatorial satellites, which have been the basic element of U.S. weather monitoring since 1974. NOAA and NASA oversee the procurement, design, and manufacture of GOES satellites. NOAA is the official provider of GOES space and terrestrial weather data and SPEDAS software. They also provide data for meteorologists. The data from these satellites can be used to improve weather forecasts and better understand the Earth’s climate.

GOES-S carries a suite of advanced meteorological instruments. They stay above the Earth’s surface and provide a constant vigil to detect atmospheric triggers. GOES satellite imagery helps meteorologists estimate rainfall amounts during thunderstorms and snowfall accumulations and snow cover. GOES satellite imagery also helps forecasters issue winter storm warnings. GOES satellites also detect and map sea ice movements. With all these advanced tools, GOES-S satellites are essential to global weather monitoring.

GOES-S is scheduled to launch in December 2021 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Once it reaches geostationary orbit, it will be renamed GOES-18 and transition into operational service as GOES-West. Once launched, GOES-S will provide backup operations for GOES-17 and GOES-16. Eventually, GOES-West will replace GOES-S as the main geostationary weather satellite.