The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)


The GOES spacecraft is a geostationary satellite that provides real-time data on Earth’s atmosphere and climate. It is operated by the National Environmental Satellite and Information Service. The data collected by GOES are used by a variety of government agencies, universities, commercial weather services, and the research community around the world.

The GOES satellites orbit the Earth at regular intervals, monitoring the United States and adjoining oceans. GOES East has an orbit at 75 degrees above the equator and GOES West at 135 degrees west. The GOES East satellite provides a good view of the U.S., except for the western states, while GOES West covers a large area of the Pacific Ocean.

GOES satellites provide continuous monitoring of Earth’s weather, oceans, and climate. They do so by orbiting in a geosynchronous orbit around the equatorial plane of Earth. They also have a fixed position in the sky, making it possible to measure the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and wind speeds. Because of this, GOES satellites provide information that is vital to the National Weather Service and other environmental service agencies.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) is a space-based satellite that has been used for short-term weather forecasting in the United States since the 1970s. The satellites’ measurements of Earth’s atmosphere are combined with data from automated surface observing systems and Doppler radars to provide forecasts. GOES satellites provide a real-time picture of climate conditions, helping forecasters make timely predictions.

The GOES satellites are built by Space Systems/Loral under a contract with NASA. ITT Aerospace/Communication Division produces imagers and sounders for the GOES satellites. The first two GOES satellites had a lifespan of three years, while GOES-10, -11, and -12 were designed to operate for five years. However, the latest generation GOES satellites have the capacity to last for ten years.

GOES-16 is the first of a new generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES-R) that will provide unprecedented weather coverage. The satellites can help with hurricane and tornado warnings. The next generation of GOES satellites will launch in 2022. They will replace the current GOES-17 and GOES-16, and will continue to provide information to the public.

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