Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) is an atmospheric monitoring and weather forecasting system operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is designed to provide near-continuous imagery to ground-based user stations. Since its launch, the satellite has provided continuous data on the solar activity and long-term climate conditions. These observations have helped meteorologists better understand the effects of weather events on long-term climate. As a result, more accurate weather forecasts have been made. In addition to providing imagery, the satellite has assisted in search and rescue operations, allowing emergency responders to keep their crews safe.
GOES is a satellite-based, geosynchronous equatorial system that provides a comprehensive view of the United States, the Caribbean, and Central America. During hurricane and tropical cyclone season, GOES spacecraft can provide real-time coverage of local storms. Also, GOES can be used to help improve numerical weather prediction models. A number of research groups use GOES data in their studies. The GOES satellites can also help the National Weather Service better analyze the impact of natural disasters.
GOES satellites are controlled from the Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Maryland. These satellites have three-axis body-stabilized designs. They are equipped with a sounder, which provides information on surface and cloud top temperature. This is an important tool for meteorologists to use in identifying the type of clouds. They can also tell how fast the clouds are moving.
GOES data products are distributed to numerous operational centers and research organizations worldwide. Users include the NOAA National Weather Service, NASA, the Global Research Community, and other commercial weather services. Data is transmitted to the DCS Automated Processing System, a large dual-computer based system located at the NOAA Command and Data Acquisition facility in Wallops, Virginia. This system can re-distribute messages to up to 5,000 users. All GOES RF channels are monitored for incoming DCP messages. To access GOES data, you can use the SPEDAS software.
GOES data products are used in the meteorology and atmospheric science community to enhance numerical weather prediction models, as well as to support research on climate and environmental change. GOES imagery is also used in aviation safety. GOES can help identify areas of risk for aircraft encountering an ash plume. The improved temporal resolution of GOES imagery will help reduce the danger of airplanes coming in contact with an ash plume.
GOES satellites provide real-time data to the NOAA National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Offices. GOES imagery is also used by the Meteorological Service of Canada for their forecasting activities. GOES West is a GOES satellite that monitors a wide area of western North America. GOES East, however, scans the Northern Hemisphere.
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites have been a vital part of the United States’ weather monitoring and forecasting since their inception. By providing imagery and meteorological data, GOES helps the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration to better forecast dangerous and hazardous weather events. With the help of these satellites, more people can enjoy a safer and more comfortable environment.