GOES-East and GOES-R Satellites

GOES-East satellite features six instruments, including the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). This instrument is responsible for providing visible and infrared views of the Earth. GOES-East images are produced using 16 different wavelengths and channels, and they include the visible light and infrared bands. The visible light bands are visible to the human eye, and include snow, ice, and light-colored sand. These images are available only during daylight hours.

GOES operates in geostationary orbit above Earth, and is continuously monitoring the Atlantic, Pacific, and Central American regions. GOES’s three-axis body-stabilized design makes it possible for the spacecraft to monitor and record Earth’s surface temperature, image clouds, and listen to vertical thermal structures. This information is critical to weather monitoring and forecasting on a daily basis. GOES data products are used by many users, including the National Weather Service, commercial weather services, military and national security agencies, as well as the global research community.

GOES East and GOES West are two satellites that watch over more than half of the globe. These satellites are operated by NASA and NOAA and work together to collect and distribute data for various scientific and weather purposes. Both GOES East and GOES West provide detailed views of the North American continent. GOES West provides a more complete view of the Pacific Ocean, including Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. In the case of GOES East, this satellite orbits the Earth once daily.

GOES data are distributed to users through a variety of methods. Direct readout ground stations, or DRGSs, are used for generating derived GOES imagery. GOES-R images are used for air temperature estimation, determining the tropopause, and supplementing ASOS observations. They are a composite of multiple GOES-R channels. The GOES-R satellite has the ability to archive and re-distribute incoming DCP messages for up to 5,000 users.

GOES systems collect data from a network of over 20,000 DCPs located throughout the western hemisphere. Each DCP contains a recorder, transmitter, antenna, and an array of environmental sensors. The DCPs are programmed to collect sensor data and transmit data during specified time-slots on the designated GOES channels. This network is used to monitor weather and climate conditions worldwide. This satellite is operated by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The GOES satellites provide continuous monitoring for Earth’s surface. GOES satellites orbit the earth in a geosynchronous plane at 35,800 kilometers (22,300 miles) above the surface. Their orbiting position gives them a 360° view of the Earth’s surface. For this reason, GOES satellites provide continuous coverage of the Earth. In addition to GOES data, GOES satellites also monitor the solar activity.

The GOES satellites are designed similarly to the first three GOES satellites. GOES-4 was launched on September 9, 1980. It was the first satellite to carry the Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR), allowing for the measurement of temperature and moisture. This data has helped in improving weather forecasts. However, GOES-4 was destroyed by lightning in orbit and its successor, GOES-G, was designed to replace it.