New Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES-R)

A board game that combines strategy, logic and mathematics, go (pronounced gw) originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. It is played with 181 black and 180 white stones on a square board marked by 19 vertical lines and 19 horizontal ones, forming 361 intersections. Players take turns placing a stone on a point of intersection. The goal is to conquer territory by completely encircling opposing stones. Out of this simplicity comes profound beauty as the players battle for dominance on a complex web of interconnecting lines.

The GOES system uses geosynchronous equatorial satellites that, since the launch of SMS-1 in 1974, have become an integral element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecasting. The GOES system enhances atmospheric science research, numerical weather prediction models, and environmental sensor design and development. GOES data can also be used for disaster monitoring and response, navigation aids for high-altitude aircraft and spacecraft, and ground-based communications systems. The procurement, design, and manufacture of the GOES satellites is overseen by NASA, while NOAA is responsible for the operation and distribution of the GOES terrestrial and space weather data. The GOES system is operated out of NOAA’s Satellite Operations Control Center at Suitland, Maryland. During significant events, normal schedules can be altered to provide enhanced coverage as requested by the National Weather Service.

GOES-R Series

The new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-series (GOES-R) will improve and extend existing observation capabilities with enhanced spacecraft and instrument technology. The GOES-R series will include the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), which will offer increased capability to detect both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning, as well as improved imagery with the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). The GOES-R series will also fly the Enhanced Radiation Environment Monitor (EXIS) and the Space Environment Monitor (SEM) instruments.

SEM is designed to observe the impact of solar activity on Earth’s near-Earth space environment, including solar flares and their effects on ionosphere-affecting phenomena, such as ionospheric storms. GOES-R will also carry the Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) and Geostationary Search and Rescue Signal Locator (GSL) for SAR missions.

The SXI instrument will observe solar radiation emitted from the sun in its most energetic form, providing early detection of solar activity that can cause disruptions to our solar-terrestrial environment and affect satellites, high altitude airlines and power grids. The SXI instrument is part of NOAA’s Space Environment Monitoring (SEM) package. The SEM instrument package is provided by NOAA’s Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colorado. GOES-R will continue to use the Imager and Sounder, which feature flexible scan capabilities to monitor Earth’s surface and atmosphere in detail, with a wide range of spatial and temporal resolutions, and at both low and high altitudes. In addition, the GOES-R series will have additional advanced instruments such as the Compact Coronagraph (CCOR-1), which will allow the satellite to detect solar activity beyond the Sun’s visible spectrum, and the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors.