GOES Satellites and Their Payloads

The GOES (GEOstationary Operational Environmental Satellite) system provides vital real-time weather data to NOAA’s National Weather Service and Meteorological Services of Canada as well as atmospheric science research and environmental sensor design.

The data is a lifeline that supports severe storm tracking, meteorology research, and weather forecasting and monitoring of the Earth’s land, atmosphere, and oceans. The data also support aviation safety by monitoring volcanic activity and associated ash plumes.

GOES is comprised of a fleet of geostationary satellites and ground-based elements that work together to provide a continuous stream of data. The satellites are in a geostationary orbit that keeps them over the same geographic area over time.

They are equipped with instruments that measure Earth-emitted and reflected radiation from which weather information like temperature, wind speed, moisture, and cloud cover can be determined. The data is transmitted to a network of meteorology radars and weather centers where it can be interpreted and used for forecasting.

A typical GOES satellite has two primary payload instruments: the Imager and the Sounder. The Imager is a multichannel instrument that senses visible and infrared radiant energy, primarily from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. The Sounder, on the other hand, measures vertical atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles, and provides a variety of environmental parameters, including ozone distribution.

Both of these instruments operate with a servo-driven, two-axis gimballed mirror system (whiskbroom type) in conjunction with a 31 cm Cassegrain telescope. This combination allows a GOES satellite to scan the entire disk of the Earth, day and night, in as little as 30 seconds.

The satellites are also equipped with the Space Environment Monitor (SEM) instrument package of NOAA’s Space Environment Center (SEC). This instrument measures the solar wind particle flux, its variations, and resulting effects on the near-Earth solar-terrestrial electromagnetic environment.

GOES satellites are constantly scanning the atmosphere, looking for the atmospheric “triggers” that can lead to the formation of severe storms such as tornadoes, hail storms and hurricanes. They can also track wildfires to detect their growth, estimate rainfall during thunderstorms for flash flood warnings, and help meteorologists issue snow storm warnings.

In the spring of 2020 GOES-16 and 17 helped meteorologists track the movement of wildfires, while during the busy hurricane season they provided live images that were used to help forecast the progression and strength of those storms. During this record-setting Atlantic storm season they also tracked 30 named storms, six of which were major hurricanes.

How to Be a Nice Person

Nice is a word with a surprisingly diverse history. Etymologists have identified multiple senses of the word, and each one has its own etymology and a different meaning. The word may be used to describe a person, place, or thing, and it often is associated with a positive quality. For example, you might describe someone as nice if they are thoughtful and considerate of others. However, being nice isn’t always easy. People who try to be nice often end up compromising their values in the process. However, there are many ways to be a nice person that don’t require you to compromise your integrity or lose sight of your own values.

Among the most common traits of a nice person are patience and kindness. People who are kind are usually patient with others, and they treat everyone with the same respect. For instance, they might allow someone else to go ahead of them in line at a store, or they might help an elderly person cross the street safely. Nice people are also kind to themselves. They don’t criticize themselves, and they avoid complaining about other people.

People who are nice are considerate of other people’s feelings and beliefs. They show interest in other people and listen attentively to them. They may ask questions to learn more about their lives or opinions, and they try to avoid interrupting other people.

Being nice can be hard, especially if you’re being pulled in multiple directions. You might feel pressure to please other people, or you might get frustrated when a person doesn’t live up to your expectations. However, a nice person knows their limits and isn’t afraid to speak up when they need to.

Nice people are honest with themselves and other people. They don’t lie or manipulate, and they don’t gossip about other people. They’re also fair in their dealings with other people, and they don’t put on an act when it’s convenient for them.

Being a nice person is often based on logic and rational thinking. It makes sense that people who are nice would want to help other people because it feels good to do so. In fact, research shows that doing random acts of kindness does make you feel good. The reason is that it triggers a release of serotonin, which helps maintain your mood, and oxytocin, which makes you feel connected to other people.

However, being a nice person can also be based on compassion and emotional instincts. Compassion isn’t logical, but it does come from the right brain. This is why people who are empathetic tend to be nicer than those who aren’t. They have an inner drive to help other people, which isn’t a conscious choice, but a natural response. Being a nice person isn’t easy, but it can be rewarding when you do it for the right reasons. People who are genuinely nice are often rewarded with the satisfaction of making other people happy.