The Golden Age of Atmosphere Observations


A go is a piece in the game of Go. Go is one of the most interesting games in the world because it has a lot of different moves and positions that can occur during play. There are many things that can be done with the go: it can be defended, attacked, or even captured. Defending with the go is one of the most important aspects of Go.

A spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes the latest addition to its geostationary weather satellite fleet as the “golden age of atmospheric observations.” The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R Series—GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U—features six new and improved instruments that observe Earth and the atmosphere, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and space weather monitoring.

GOES-R, launched in November 2016, and renamed GOES-16 upon reaching geostationary orbit, is a satellite built by Lockheed Martin that offers sharper, more defined imagery of severe storms and other weather hazards across the Western Hemisphere. Its Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is especially useful for forecasting the intensity of storms and tornadoes because it can distinguish between lightning flashes and lightning build-up in clouds. GOES-R also features the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) which offers three times more spectral channels, four times more resolution and five times faster scanning than previous GOES satellites. Its Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensor (EXIS) can detect solar flares that can disrupt communications and reduce navigational accuracy for high altitude aircraft, and it can help protect against the loss of power grids on Earth.

The latest addition to the GOES-R family, GOES-U, is expected to be ready for launch in 2024. It will be able to provide additional imagery with increased temporal cadence, which is critical for the NOAA National Weather Service’s (NWS) forecast offices and Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers. The ability to capture 10-minute full disk imagery can significantly enhance the monitoring of hazardous conditions and improve aviation safety by detecting volcanic ash plumes and other rapidly changing phenomena.

The GOES-R Series is NOAA’s largest geostationary weather satellite program to date, with four satellites currently in operational service. NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated team of scientists and engineers at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and at NOAA’s national centers. This team is led by the GOES-R Program Office.