The Gaps in Accuracy of the GOES Satellites

The GOES-16 satellite was launched in May 2014. Its main instrument, the Advanced Baseline Imager, was designed to increase the resolution and spectral channels of Earth’s surface. GOES-16 has a four-year mission and five-year design life. It features Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) to monitor solar irradiance. The GOES-16 spacecraft can also detect solar flares, which can affect high-altitude airline operations, power grids, and satellites.


GOES satellites provide continuous monitoring of the Earth’s surface. They orbit high enough to observe a full disc of the Earth. They monitor atmospheric triggers that can lead to severe weather and track the movement of storms. By measuring changes in global temperatures and humidity, they can predict weather patterns and help forecasters determine the best course of action to take. However, these satellites are not perfect. There are still some gaps in their accuracy and they do not provide accurate global information.

GOES satellites continuously monitor the continental United States, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Southern Canada. Thanks to their three-axis body-stabilized design, they can image clouds and monitor Earth’s surface temperature more frequently. GOES satellites can even listen to the sounds of vertical thermal structures. These capabilities allow meteorologists to forecast severe local storms and tropical cyclones in real time. Detailed weather forecasts are important to the public and for emergency services.

GOES satellites are stationary in their orbit over the Earth’s surface. They remain over one point on Earth to maintain a constant vigil against atmospheric triggers. GOES satellites also continuously monitor storms, allowing meteorologists to predict their development and track their movement. They also monitor ice fields and trace their movement to provide early warning of severe weather. The GOES satellites are a key element of observing the weather at a global scale.

GOES satellites are in geostationary orbits that allow them to provide continuous monitoring. These satellites are 35,800 km or 22,300 miles high above Earth. Their geosynchronous positions enable them to see the Earth’s entire disc, including clouds, mountains, and oceans. These features make GOES data useful in weather forecasting and disaster response. If you are concerned about a tropical cyclone, GOES satellites are capable of monitoring the area for hurricanes.

GOES’ visible light images are only available during daylight hours, which is why GOES satellite images are only useful during the day. During daylight hours, GOES satellites are in a geostationary orbit when compared to the Earth’s rotation, and they’re able to view the entire Earth. This allows the GOES spacecraft to monitor cloud formations and provide real-time coverage. It also gives meteorologists a detailed view of the Earth’s temperature, which is vital in weather forecasting.

The GOES satellites are highly sensitive to lightning strikes. The data are used for weather forecasting. The GOES satellites are positioned in geostationary orbits to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere and to predict storms. A geostationary orbit means that the satellite remains over a fixed point on the Earth’s surface and matches its speed with the rotation of the planet. They are also sensitive to turbulence. In this way, GOES has been used for years in the US, but it has been a great asset for the U.S. government.