The GOES Weather Satellite System


GOES is the United States’s main weather satellite system. It provides high-resolution images of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. It also provides data for enhancing operational services, atmospheric science research, numerical weather prediction models, and environmental sensor design. Each of the 16 GOES satellites is controlled by the Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Maryland. The GOES satellite schedule can be shifted to provide coverage of important weather events.

GOES operates from geostationary orbit and continuously observes the continental United States, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Central America, and southern Canada. With its three-axis body-stabilized design, GOES is able to view the Earth’s surface more frequently, image clouds more accurately, monitor the temperature of the Earth, and listen to vertical thermal structures. It also provides real-time coverage of tropical cyclones and severe local storms.

GOES satellites orbit Earth in geostationary orbits, which mean they don’t move in relation to the surface. Their geostationary orbits enable them to continually observe the Western Hemisphere at a high-resolution. They also allow meteorologists to track the movement of clouds and identify their types. This information helps forecasters predict severe weather before it hits. A single GOES satellite can view the Earth for up to 22 hours per day.

GOES satellites have six primary payload instruments. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) is responsible for monitoring the earth’s atmosphere in visible and infrared wavelengths. The SEISS is equipped with two other sensors, the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) and X-ray Irradiance (EXIS), which monitor solar irradiance in the upper atmosphere. The information it provides is vital to military and civilian radio wave systems, electric power grids, and astronauts on the Space Station.

The GOES satellites have regular scan schedules that include both the Contiguous United States (CONUS) and the adjoining oceans. The GOES East satellite covers the eastern half of the United States and the extended Northern Hemisphere. The GOES West satellite covers the western half of the United States, including Alaska, and provides a more detailed view of the country’s west coast. They also cover a large area of the Pacific Ocean.

The GOES system is the basis of U.S. weather monitoring since 1974. NASA oversees the design, procurement, and manufacturing of GOES satellites. The data from GOES satellites is used by NOAA scientists and researchers. GOES data can be accessed using the SPEDAS software. It has been used by governments around the world for weather forecasting since 1974. However, GOES satellites aren’t completely reliable. There are other ways to get the same data as GOES, but a GOES satellite can be an excellent tool for weather forecasting.

GOES satellites are fixed at specific points above the earth. They provide continuous images of Earth’s atmosphere. GOES East provides images of eastern North America, while GOES West provides a view of western North America. The three satellites also monitor the Pacific Ocean. The Earth’s atmosphere is made of many layers. Each layer of the earth is covered by a different layer. GOES-East is the largest of the four satellites.