NOAA -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

GOES-R Series

 

Scientists Investigate GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager Performance Issue

May 23, 2018

A photo of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI)​ Instrument

The GOES-R Program is currently addressing a performance issue with the cooling system encountered during commissioning of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.  The cooling system is an integral part of the ABI and did not start up properly during the on-orbit checkout. 

A team of experts from NOAA, NASA, the ABI contractor team and industry are investigating the issue and pursuing multiple courses of possible corrective actions. The issue affects the infrared and near-infrared channels on the instrument. The visible channels of the ABI are not impacted.

NOAA’s operational geostationary constellation -- GOES-16, operating as GOES-East, GOES-15, operating as GOES-West and GOES-14, operating as the on-orbit spare -- is healthy and monitoring weather across the nation each day, so there is no immediate impact from this performance issue.

If efforts to restore the cooling system are unsuccessful, alternative concepts and modes will be considered to maximize the operational utility of the ABI for NOAA's National Weather Service and other customers.  An update will be provided as new information becomes available.

Click here to listen to the audio from the May 23, 2018 media call.


NOAA GOES-17 Shares First Light Imagery from Geostationary Lightning Mapper

May 21, 2018

NOAA GOES-17 satellite has transmitted its first Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data. This GLM data in this animation shows storms quickly intensifying and forming into an impressive line across the U.S. Plains on May 9, 2018. 

The Geostationary Lightning Mapper onboard GOES-17, like the one on board NOAA GOES East, is transmitting data never previously available to forecasters. The mapper observes lightning in the Western Hemisphere, giving forecasters an indication of when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous. Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm may strengthen quickly and could produce severe weather. 

During heavy rain, GLM data can show when thunderstorms are stalled or if they are gathering strength. When combined with radar and other satellite data, GLM data will help forecasters anticipate severe weather and issue flood and flash flood warnings sooner. 

Also, in large long-lived storm systems, lightning may travel hundreds of miles before striking the ground. GLM can show forecasters areas far from the main line of storms where the risk of lightning strikes to ground presents a public safety hazard. In dry areas, especially in the western United States, information from the instrument will help forecasters, and ultimately firefighters, identify areas prone to wildfires sparked by lightning.

Data from GLM will serve an essential role in helping to keep American lives and property safe when GOES-17 is positioned in its operational GOES West position, where it will cover a vast swath of the data-sparse Pacific Ocean and monitor high-risk wildfire-prone areas in the Western U.S.


NOAA GOES-17 Shares SEISS Instrument 'First Light'

May 15, 2018

GOES-17 SEISS Instrument

The Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS) instrument on board NOAA's recently launched GOES-17 satellite is successfully sending data back to Earth.

On May 5, SEISS observed Earth's radiation belt (consisting of electrons and protons surrounding the Earth) responding to a geomagnetic storm - these spikes are visible in the data plot below. The source of this storm was first detected by NOAA’s DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) satellite on May 5. 

DSCOVR observed a high-speed stream of solar wind plasma that had escaped from a coronal hole, a cooler and less dense area of the sun. The high-speed plasma plowed through the slow solar wind ahead of it and 'kicked' the Earth’s magnetosphere, a “bubble” that protects us from solar wind. This 'kick' started a global disturbance in the magnetic field known as a geomagnetic storm.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center issued two alerts on May 6 in response to the storm--first, a G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm warning and then a second alert midday in response to the change in Earth’s radiation belt that was picked up by SEISS. Geomagnetic storms from the sun can impact communications and navigation systems, power grids, and may cause radiation damage to spacecraft. 

The GOES-17 SEISS sensors have been collecting data continuously since April 24, 2018. SEISS is better able to detect changes in the radiation belt caused by solar storms than the previous generation of NOAA geostationary satellites. After GOES-17 is commissioned, SEISS will be used by SWPC to issue the radiation belt alerts.


NOAA GOES East Satellite Captures Full Rotation of the Sun!

May 10, 2018

Did you know the sun ROTATES?! Once every 27.5 days actually. NOAA's GOES East (GOES-16) satellite's SUVI instrument captures this full rotation imagery as it monitors the sun's atmosphere - a million-degree dynamic solar corona.

The sun keeps space weather forecasters on their toes. This short “movie” of the sun’s rotation from March shows why. That’s one-million-degree solar plasma in action! Solar changes have the potential to disrupt power grids, air navigation systems, and satellites, among other impacts. Our friends at NOAA NCEI (National Centers for Environmental Information) are sharing their knowledge about the sun’s activity for Space Weather Month throughout May. The Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) on #GOESEast, watches the sun constantly and began sending us images like this a year ago. NCEI stewards NOAA’s entire space environmental archive.

Read NCEI’s Space Weather 101: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/what-is-space-weather

Find #GOES data from NCEI: https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/satellite/goes-r.html.


Spider Lightning Looks Terrifying from Space!

April 13, 2018

When you spend 24/7/365 staring at Earth, you see some strange things. The NOAA GOES East satellite (GOES-16) witnessed a frightening display of stratiform, or ‘spider’ lightning as it’s known, in October 2017 over the central plains in the U.S.

The GOES-R series of satellites (which includes GOES-16 and the recently launched GOES-17) are equipped with the new Geostationary Lightning Mapper - GLM - technology, allowing the satellite to capture imagery of lightning as never seen before. Check out this video to see the prolific spider lightning erupt over multiple states over several hours.

The video above is from a storm system last October that produced extensive stratiform (or spider) lightning behind the main convective line.  This lightning connected vast regions of opposite charge within the thunderstorm clouds. These extensive lightning flashes often simultaneously strike the ground in multiple places miles apart. They also are known to trigger upward lightning from tall objects.The imagery in this video was created using snapshots from the satellite taken over the same location every five minutes.  

Ground photograph of 'Spider Lightning'
Ground photograph of 'Spider Lightning'

These flashes are called spider lightning due to the pattern they create when they quickly creep and crawl from one cloud to another. These long, horizontally traveling flashes can be seen from Earth below the clouds when they are especially strong and bright. GOES East, along with the recently launched GOES-17 satellite, can ‘see’ the lightning flashes all the way from their orbital position 22,000 miles above the surface of the Earth using the GLM instrument. 

The GLM continually looks for lightning flashes in the Western Hemisphere. Along with the ABI instrument, the flash density can help forecasters observe the formation and intensification of storms.  Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening quickly and could produce severe weather. During heavy rain, GLM data can show when thunderstorms are stalled or if they are gathering strength. When combined with radar and other satellite data from geostationary and polar satellites, GLM data may help forecasters anticipate severe weather and issue flood and flash flood warnings sooner. In dry areas, especially in the western United States, information from the instrument will help forecasters, and ultimately firefighters, identify areas prone to wildfires sparked by lightning.

Photo of Suomi NPPS captured lightning image

NOAA GOES East wasn’t the only satellite in our fleet to capture this rare event shown above. The Day Night Band on board the polar orbiting NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP Satellite (*note this event occurred just before our new polar orbiting NOAA-20 satellite launched) was also able to observe lighting during this event. The Day Night Band can detect lightning flashes, which appear as bright streaks atop a nocturnal storm. While the DNB can’t detect how much lightning is happening, depending on the lightning flash rate of a storm, there is a chance that the Day Night Band might capture the in-cloud scattered light. Suomi NPP was able to capture these spider lightning strikes due to their extent and prolonged duration.

And you thought sharks in a tornado was a scary concept!  Does looking at these images give you Astra-Arachnophobia?!


So You Launched A Satellite, Now What?

April 9, 2018

On March 1, 2018, at 5:02 PM ET, NOAA’s GOES-S satellite blasted off into space and soon took its place as GOES-17, the nation’s newest satellite in NOAA’s most advanced geostationary series. The Atlas V rocket that launched the satellite propelled it into orbit 22,000 miles above Earth. Although the young satellite has already traveled far from home, its journey to become a vital component of the United States’ weather forecasting operations is only just beginning.


Over the next few months, GOES-17 will undergo checkout and calibration of its instruments and systems. Then it will drift to its operational location at 137 degrees west longitude, where it will capture real-time imagery of the Earth’s Western Hemisphere, from the West Coast of the United States all the way across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand.

GOES-17 has already completed its first major system checkout - it deployed its solar array approximately three hours after launch, which gave it a power source in space. The solar panels on the satellite recharge the battery-operated power system, enabling the mission team on the ground to control the satellite’s communication abilities and location in space. 

Now, the satellite sensors will go through an outgassing process where any chemical residue and water vapor contaminants are released into space before the instruments are activated. Although built in a controlled clean room, even miniscule particles can negatively affect the extremely sensitive satellite sensors. The outgassing process allows one extra ‘cleaning’ before the instruments are turned on.

During the activation phase engineers will check the first data inputs to confirm that they are transmitting as expected, and measuring comparably to current operational satellites, like GOES-16 (GOES East) and GOES-15 (currently GOES West). GOES-17 is equipped with several instruments, including the Advanced Baseline Imager, which will each begin to transmit data back to Earth. Each time we receive initial communication from an instrument, it is referred to as ‘first light.’ 

The engineers also test the satellite by directing it to perform a series of maneuvers, including rolls (side-to-side movements), yaws (twisting the spacecraft left and right) and pitches (backflips of 180 degrees). These maneuvers give the satellite's engineers and operators a better understanding of the interactions between the instruments and the spacecraft, and how various aspects of the space environment like light and temperature are affecting the sensors.

The final testing phase for GOES-17 will be a detailed inspection and validation of data quality. When GOES-16 underwent this phase, NOAA deployed a team of instrument scientists, ground-based sensors, meteorologists, engineers, drones, and specialized pilots able to fly at high altitudes. They each collected data to compare and calibrate the information being received from the satellite. Now, GOES-16 is an ideal partner satellite to help calibrate GOES-17 data. NOAA’s mission is to ensure that data from our satellites is precise, accurate, and readily available in real time.

Late this year, once these checkouts are complete, GOES-17 will replace GOES-15 as the operational GOES West satellite. Providing faster, more accurate data to the National Weather Service and the public in high definition, GOES-17 will be a game changer to weather forecasting in the western U.S. Millions of people in the United States and around the globe will rely on this satellite for accurate, advanced weather information. 

Follow along on the satellite’s journey on Twitter (@NOAASatellites) to be part of this significant advancement toward a more Weather-Ready nation. 

An image of the GOES West and and  GOES East NOAA Satellites Fleet


NOAA GOES-17 Sends 'First Light' Image to Earth

April 3, 2018

A graphic of the GOES-17 Magnetometer Earthward Component Timeseries

We have received the 'first-light' from our recently launched NOAA GOES-17 satellite! On March 22, 2018, the GOES-17 Magnetometer (MAG) became the first instrument on the satellite to begin transmitting data. The Magnetometers on the GOES-R series of satellites (including GOES-16, currently GOES East, and now GOES-17), can observe more wave frequencies, at five times higher resolution, allowing us to conduct new research into space weather. The space weather products from the magnetometer data can help scientists better forecast the likelihood that elevated levels of dangerous energetic particles will occur during events like solar flares.

The figure above shows data from the outboard Magnetometer instrument on board the GOES-17 satellite. The data has been filtered to highlight a space weather phenomenon known as plasma waves. These waves play significant roles in controlling the levels of dangerous energetic particles that cause damage to satellites and harm astronauts. An important characteristic of these waves is their frequency, or how fast they oscillate up and down (shown in the bottom panel of the figure).

When the waves interact with the particles, some types of waves oscillate in a way that accelerate particles to dangerous radiation levels while other types oscillate at frequencies that can scatter the particles and decrease the threat they pose. Forecasting the level of energetic particles is complicated by the fact that both types of waves occur during space weather events. The Magnetometers on the GOES-R series of satellites, with five times higher resolution, expands the wave frequencies observed from both types of waves allowing us to undertake research into new space weather products that help forecasters better forecast the likelihood that elevated levels of dangerous energetic particles will occur during space weather events.


NOAA GOES East Satellite Captures the First Images from Space of Gigantic Jet Lightning

March 23, 2018

NOAA GOES East Satellite Captures the First Images from Space of Gigantic Jet Lightning
The image above shows a comparison in the optical energy from GLM and the camera on the ground.

NOAA GOES East (GOES-16) satellite's Geostationary Lightning Mapper has captured the first images from space of 'gigantic jet' lightning - electrical discharges from a thunderstorm that come out the TOP of the storm and reach as high as the ionosphere (that's 50 miles up)

Thunderstorms can produce electrical discharges that come out the top of the storm and reach the ionosphere (80 km altitude). These are known as gigantic jets. Jets have predominantly been recorded by cameras on the ground. However, new research using the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper has identified gigantic jets from space that were produced by Tropical Storm Harvey as it passed Puerto Rico. This research can lead to a better understanding of these spectacular discharges and determine when and where they take place.

Ground-based video credit: 
Frankie Lucena, Research credit: Levi Boggs, Florida Tech

The chart above shows 5 frames of the gigantic lightning jet  - electrical discharges from a thunderstorm that come out the TOP of the storm and reach as high as the ionosphere (that's 50 miles up)
The chart above shows 5 frames of the gigantic lightning jet  - electrical discharges from a thunderstorm that come out the TOP of the storm and reach as high as the ionosphere (that's 50 miles up)
 

 


NOAA GOES-S Satellite, now GOES-17!

March 12, 2018

The image shows the GOES West operational location coverage map
The image shows the GOES West operational location coverage map

Today is a big day for the GOES-S satellite. It has reached geostationary orbit (22,300 miles out in space) and has now officially received a new name...GOES-17! The satellite will be called GOES-17 for the remainder of its lifespan. GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch and a number once they achieve geostationary orbit. 

After a checkout of all of the instruments and systems, GOES-17 will drift to its operational position, and become NOAA’s GOES West satellite in late 2018. 


We have liftoff! Watch the launch of GOES-S

March 1, 2018

NOAA’s GOES-S, the second in a new series of four highly advanced geostationary weather satellites, blasted into orbit at 5:02 p.m. EST today from Cape Canaveral, Florida. GOES-S mission managers confirmed that its solar arrays successfully deployed at 8:58 pm and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.

Read more


NOAA GOES-S (GOES-17) High Definition GOES West!

March 1, 2018


How to Launch a Rocket

February 28, 2018

 

ULA Atlas V 541 RocketNOAA GOES-S will travel to space aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 expendable launch vehicle, or rocket. The “541” refers to the configuration of the rocket: payload fairing, or nose cone, that covers the satellite is approximately 5 meters in diameter; the four solid rocket boosters that generate extra thrust off the launch pad; and a single engine on the Centaur upper stage. Fully fueled, GOES-S’s Atlas V 541 rocket weighs more than 1 million pounds and is approximately 197 feet tall.

GOES-S and its Atlas V rocket will begin its journey to space when the booster engine and solid rocket boosters ignite and the rocket blasts off. Just under 2 minutes after leaving the launch pad, the rocket’s four solid rocket boosters will complete their burns and be jettisoned while the Atlas booster continues to burn. Approximately 90 seconds later, the payload fairing halves separate and fall back, no longer needed after leaving Earth’s atmosphere. About a minute later, the booster engine will shut down, known as booster engine cutoff (BECO), and the booster and Centaur upper stage separate. With the upper stage now flying free, the main engine will start its first burn. This burn will last for nearly eight minutes before the first main engine cutoff (MECO-1).

After a total of three burns of the Centaur upper stage engine, GOES-S will separate from the upper stage and fly alone in space for the first time! This will occur roughly three and a half hours after liftoff. In the days that follow, GOES-S will perform several instrument deployments and a series of maneuvers to bring the satellite into geostationary orbit. This is scheduled to occur 17 days after launch. Once NOAA GOES-S, now GOES-17, is placed in geostationary orbit, it will undergo a period of checkout and validation, moving to the GOES West operational position in late 2018.

 


GOES-S To Map Lightning in the West

February 26, 2018

NOAA GOES-S will not only image the Earth as it sees it in true color, it also will be able to detect and monitor weather phenomena as they develop in real time - like lightning. The first lightning detector in a geostationary orbit, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) currently onboard NOAA GOES East, is transmitting data never before available to forecasters. The mapper continuously looks for lightning flashes in the Western Hemisphere, so forecasters know when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous. Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening quickly and could produce severe weather. 

During heavy rain, GLM data will show when thunderstorms are stalled or if they are gathering strength. When combined with radar and other satellite data, GLM data will help forecasters anticipate severe weather and issue flood and flash flood warnings sooner. Also, in large long-lived storm systems, lightning may travel hundreds of miles before striking the ground. The GLM can show forecasters areas far from the main line of storms where the risk of lightning strikes to ground presents a public safety hazard. In dry areas, especially in the western United States, information from the instrument will help forecasters, and ultimately firefighters, identify areas prone to wildfires sparked by lightning.

Data from the instrument is also used to produce a long-term database to track decadal changes in lightning activity. This is important due to lightning’s role in maintaining the electrical balance between Earth and its atmosphere and potential changes in extreme weather and severe storms under a changing climate.  


GOES Images Earth

February 23, 2018

GOES Image of the Earth

The Advanced Baseline Imager is the primary instrument on the GOES-R Series for imaging Earth’s weather, oceans and environment. ABI views the Earth with 16 different spectral bands (compared to five on the previous generation of GOES), including two visible channels, four near-infrared channels, and ten infrared channels.

It provides three times more spectral information, four times the spatial resolution, and more than five times faster temporal coverage than the previous system.

ABI is a multi-channel passive imaging radiometer that observes the Western Hemisphere and provides variable area imagery and radiometric information of Earth’s surface, atmosphere and cloud cover. ABI is used for a wide range of applications related to severe weather, hurricanes, aviation, natural hazards, the atmosphere, oceans and cryosphere. 

ABI can multitask. The default scan mode concurrently takes a full disk (Western Hemisphere) image every 15 minutes, an image of the Continental U.S. every five minutes, and two smaller, more detailed images of areas where storm activity is present, every 60 seconds (or one every 30 seconds). Alternatively, ABI can operate in full disk mode, continuously imaging the full disk every five minutes.

ABI tracks and monitors cloud formation, atmospheric motion, convective development, land and sea surface temperatures, ocean dynamics, flow of water, fire, smoke, volcanic ash, aerosols and air quality, and vegetative health. Data from the ABI helps meteorologists pinpoint and track an area of developing storms in much greater detail than ever before. Knowing how rapidly storm clouds are forming leads to earlier warnings. Better data quality and faster scan speed contributes to fewer weather-related flight delays as well as earlier preparation for tropical storms and hurricanes. ABI data is also very useful for providing real-time imagery during radar outages or in areas where radar coverage is sparse.

By delivering a better and larger suite of weather, climate and environmental products, ABI has ushered in a new era in weather forecasting, benefitting public safety, protection of life and property, and our nation’s economic health and prosperity.


GOES and the Western Frontier

February 21, 2018

Working in concert with the recently launched GOES-16, the two new geostationary weather satellites will provide constant watch over the United States and the Western Hemisphere, helping monitor severe storms, wildfires, and daily weather patterns. 

GOES-S will provide better data coverage over the northeastern Pacific, where many weather systems that affect the western U.S. originate. Greater coverage means that GOES-S will be in an ideal location to monitor weather hazards unique to the western U.S. 

These include wildfires, coastal fog, and atmospheric river events, when storms from the Pacific dump heavy rain and snow over the western U.S. Better monitoring of these heavy precipitation events will lead to timelier warnings to the public about hazards such as flooding and mudslides.

While GOES East and West keep watch over the Western Hemisphere, their foreign counterparts on the other side of the world image the Eastern Hemisphere. These satellites make up a core geostationary satellite team that provides accurate real-time data to NOAA and the United States.

Learn more about our international satellite partners here: https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/content/international-partners-sky-satellite-partnerships


Five Reasons GOES-S will be a Game-Changer for Weather Forecasts in the Western U.S.

February 20, 2018

Excitement is building for the launch of GOES-S. On March 1, 2018, NOAA’s newest geostationary satellite will launch into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida. GOES-S (which will become GOES-17 once it reaches its final orbit) will significantly enhance weather forecasting capabilities across the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii and provide critical data and imagery of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean extending all the way to New Zealand. Here are five reasons why GOES-S will be such a game-changer for weather forecasts from California to Alaska and beyond.

This graphic shows coverage of the Western Hemisphere by GOES-East and GOES-West. (NOAA)
This graphic shows coverage of the Western Hemisphere by GOES-East and GOES-West. (NOAA)

1. Better, faster data means more reliable forecasts

You may not realize it when you check your favorite weather website or smartphone app for a forecast in, say, San Francisco or Las Vegas, but weather forecasts in the western U.S. are overdue for an upgrade. A reliable forecast - whether it’s for sunny skies, or a serious hazard such as flash floods or tropical cyclones - requires accurate and timely data, and that’s where weather satellites like GOES-S come into play.

Our ability to see weather forming over the Pacific Ocean has been hampered by a lack of high-quality data. Data coverage is sparse over the northeastern Pacific, where many weather systems that affect the continental U.S. are born. The improved technology aboard GOES-S will provide valuable new data about upper level wind conditions. This data then gets fed into computer models used by forecasters at the National Weather Service. 

Like GOES-16 (now NOAA’s GOES East satellite), GOES-S will collect three times more data at four times better resolution, and scan the Earth five times faster than previous geostationary satellites over western North America, providing far more information to the models used to make those five-day forecasts we’re so familiar with.

2. Tracking Wildfires

GOES-16 GeoColor and fire temperature RGB (red-green-blue) imagery of the wildfires raging in California on October 9, 2017. (Credit: CIRA)
GOES-16 GeoColor and fire temperature RGB (red-green-blue) imagery of the
wildfires raging in California on October 9, 2017. (Credit: CIRA)

The arid climate of the western United States makes the region especially vulnerable to wildfires. In 2017, several catastrophic wildfires in California burned more than one million acres of land across the state.

Thanks to high-resolution imagery from GOES-16, including red-green-blue thermal infrared imagery used to detect fire hot spots, forecasters at the National Weather Service were able to locate fires more quickly, and coordinate warnings with local emergency managers that helped save lives. In some cases, satellite imagery helped detect fires before 911 calls began to come in. GOES-S will provide a “second set of eyes” over the western U.S., and provide new wildfire monitoring capabilities where it is currently lacking, especially in Alaska. 

3. Monitoring ‘Atmospheric Rivers’ and Pacific Tropical Cyclones

If you live on the West Coast, you may have heard the term “atmospheric river” or the “pineapple express.” Like rivers in the sky, these narrow conveyor belts of moisture transport huge amounts of water vapor from the subtropics to the west coast of the continental U.S. Strong atmospheric rivers can deliver enormous amounts of rain and high-elevation snow in California and the Pacific Northwest, especially during the winter months. 

GOES-16 imagery of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas on  August 25, 2017. (NOAA)
GOES-16 imagery of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas on 
August 25, 2017. (NOAA)

Like GOES-16, which provided groundbreaking new data and imagery during the severe 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, GOES-S will bring this same new technology to the Pacific Ocean. This means forecasters will have new high-resolution imagery of atmospheric rivers, as well as Pacific hurricanes that track toward Hawaii or Mexico during the summer and autumn. 

GOES-S will be equipped with an infrared channel that helps forecasters monitor cloud top temperatures, which are used to predict rainfall intensity and the potential for flash flooding or thunderstorms. The Advanced Baseline Imager on GOES-S will have three water vapor bands, two more than GOES-15, NOAA’s current geostationary satellite over the Pacific. These additional channels will provide high resolution imagery of atmospheric water vapor, allowing forecasters to track the movement of major storms and pinpoint areas that will receive the heaviest precipitation.

GOES-S will also have the capability of collecting one-minute imagery over tropical cyclones, which can help forecasters better locate a storm’s center of circulation. In addition, the satellite’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will provide forecasters with near real-time data on a storm’s lightning activity, helping them identify the most convectively active portions of the storm. 

4. Fog Detection

An image of the San Francisco, California Golden Gate Bridge Covered in Fog
(NOAA)

You don’t have to live on the West Coast to know that coastal fog is a hallmark weather event in places like San Francisco and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Not only will GOES-S provide high-resolution, real-time imagery of fog conditions, but the satellite’s rapid scanning capabilities will also help forecasters predict when fog will clear. 

If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ve probably run into a few travel headaches because fog or low stratus clouds grounded your flight.

Luckily, NOAA’s GOES satellites can help mitigate flight delays. In March 2017, data and imagery from GOES-16 helped air traffic controllers at San Francisco International Airport lift a ground delay due to fog. Forecasters were able to use the satellite’s high-resolution imagery to predict when the fog would start to erode, a decision that freed up 32 flights, prevented more than 20 hours of flight delays, and saved the airlines nearly $100,000. Fog monitoring from GOES-S will also improve forecasts used by the maritime sector, such the fishing and commercial shipping industries.

5. Special mention: A major upgrade for Alaska

Current geostationary satellite coverage of Alaska, such as this recent GOES-15 visible imagery, will be replaced by high-resolution imagery in 16 different channels. (NOAA)
Current geostationary satellite coverage of Alaska, such as this recent GOES-15
visible imagery, will be replaced by high-resolution imagery in 16 different
channels. (NOAA)

GOES-S will boost weather prediction all across the western U.S., but the new satellite will be especially valuable to Alaska. That’s because NOAA’s current geostationary satellites lack sufficient resolution in regions near the Arctic. GOES-S, however, will provide a significantly clearer view of the Last Frontier - all the way to Alaska’s North Slope, and allow for applications such as tracking sea ice.

This vast new coverage will revolutionize forecasting in Alaska. For example, thanks to combinable image channels on GOES-S (known as “multispectral imagery”), forecasters will be able to distinguish between clouds, snow-covered ground, and sea ice around Alaska’s coasts. This will improve aviation and shipping forecasts, since current GOES visible satellite imagery can’t easily differentiate clouds and snow - a particular challenge during Alaska’s long, dark winter months.

Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano erupting on March 16, 2016. (Image credit: Nahshon Almandmoss/U.S. Coast Guard)
Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano erupting on March 16, 2016.
(Image credit: Nahshon Almandmoss/U.S. Coast Guard)

Like its sister satellite, GOES-16, GOES-S will be able to detect hazards often experienced in Alaska, such as wildfires and volcanic ash. Monitoring wildfires using satellite data and imagery will save property and lives, while volcanic ash detection will make air travel significantly safer in a state where flying is the only mode of transport in many remote areas.

Want to know more about GOES-S? Stay tuned for the latest launch updates here.


 

NOAA’s GOES-S to boost weather forecast accuracy for western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii

More detailed observations will improve marine, aviation forecasts and wildfire detection

February 1, 2018

Artist Rendering GOES-R Series Satellite Illustration

NOAA is one month away from launching GOES-S, its newest geostationary weather satellite that will begin providing faster, more accurate data to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska.
 
“The GOES-S satellite will join GOES-16 and NOAA-20 as NOAA continues to upgrade its satellite fleet,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The latest GOES addition will provide further insight and unrivaled accuracy into severe weather systems and wildfires in the western United States.”

In tandem with GOES-16, the first satellite in NOAA’s new geostationary series and now in the GOES-East position, the two satellites will observe most of the Western Hemisphere, from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand. This includes the northeastern Pacific, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental U.S., and where there is comparatively little data. When it’s operational later this year, GOES-S will take up the GOES-West position.
 
And like GOES-16, GOES-S will scan the Earth five times faster at four times the image resolution, with triple the number of channels than previous GOES for more accurate, reliable forecasts and severe weather outlooks.
 
“We expect GOES-S to be the perfect partner to its sister satellite, GOES-16, whose early returns have surpassed our expectations,” said RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. “The revolutionary technology on these satellites, coupled with the skill of NOAA forecasters, will lead ultimately to more lives saved.” 
 
“GOES-S will provide high resolution imagery of the western U.S. and eastern Pacific Ocean completing our satellite coverage to further improve weather forecasts across the entire country,” said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.
 
In addition to improving weather forecasts, GOES-S will help forecasters identify wildfire hotspots shortly after they begin, and to see rapid intensification - invaluable information that emergency teams need to fight fires and evacuate people in harm’s way. The satellite will also help forecasters better track and predict the formation and dissipation of fog, which can disrupt airport operations.
 
“We’ll soon see the value of having two sophisticated geostationary satellites in operation, not only in the amount of lives saved through more accurate forecasts, but in cost savings throughout the economy,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “With GOES-S and GOES-16, we are able to cover about half the planet with the most sophisticated weather forecast technology ever flown in space.”
 
The GOES-R Series satellites are designed for 10 years of on-orbit operation, followed by up to five years of on-orbit storage. There are four satellites in the GOES-R series: -R, -S, -T and -U, which will extend satellite coverage through 2036.
 
NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office, with personnel from both agencies. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R spacecraft and instruments. Lockheed Martin is responsible for the design, creation, and testing the GOES-R Series satellites and for spacecraft launch processing. Harris Corp. provides the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, along with the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data reception.
 
The launch, scheduled for March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be shown on NASA-TV.

EDITORS: B-roll available at https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/content/goes-r-series-media-b-roll

 

NASA Invites Media to Upcoming NOAA GOES-S Satellite Launch

January 29, 2018

Illustration depicts NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S)
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S). This illustration depicts NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S), which is scheduled to launch March 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles for the GOES-R Series program.
Credits: Lockheed Martin

Media accreditation is open for the launch Thursday, March 1, of the second in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites.

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is scheduled to launch at 5:02 p.m. EST on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. GOES-S is the second in the GOES-R Series of weather satellites that includes GOES-R (now GOES-16), -S, -T and -U.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s neighboring Kennedy Space Center. International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 13, for access to Kennedy media activities only. U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19. All media accreditation requests should be submitted online at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov/

For questions about accreditation, please email ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. For other questions, or additional information, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

GOES-S will be renamed GOES-17 when it reaches geostationary orbit. Once the satellite is declared operational late this year, it will occupy NOAA’s GOES-West position and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and part of South America.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series program through an integrated NOAA/NASA office and oversees the acquisition of the program ground system. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles. Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and is responsible for spacecraft development, integration and testing.

Mission operations will be performed by NOAA at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Florida, provided the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, and the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data receipt. NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.

Media Contact:

John Leslie
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington
301-713-0214
john.leslie@noaa.gov

Steve Cole
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0918
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov

Tori McLendon
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
tori.n.mclendon@nasa.gov


Experts to Preview March Launch of GOES-S Satellite

Data will improve weather forecasts for western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii

January 25, 2018

Technicians in the clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla. closely inspect and continue working to prepare NOAA's GOES-S for its March 1 launch.

Top officials from NOAA, NASA and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will hold a media teleconference to discuss how NOAA’s GOES-S, the second in a series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites, will help provide faster, more accurate data for tracking lightning, storm systems, wildfires, dense fog and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.

GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Once in orbit and declared operational it will be placed in what’s known as the GOES-West position and renamed GOES-17.

Like GOES-16, launched in November 2016 and operating in the GOES-East position, GOES-S will scan the Earth five times faster at four times the image resolution with triple the number of channels for more accurate, reliable forecasts and severe weather outlooks.

WHAT: 

Media teleconference on NOAA’s next-generation GOES-S weather satellite.

WHEN:

Thu., Feb. 1, at 1 p.m. EST

HOW:

U.S. and Canadian media may call 1-888-942-9266 toll-free. Other international media may call 1-773-756-4623 (toll call). Please use the passcode "GOES." 

WHO:

  • Ajay Mehta, acting deputy assistant administrator for systems, NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
  • Tim Walsh, acting director, NOAA’s GOES-R program
  • Joe Pica, director, National Weather Service Office of Observations
  • Sandra Smalley, director, NASA's Joint Agency Satellite Division
  • Jana Luis, division chief of predictive services, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).
     

Media Contact:

John Leslie,
301-713-0214

 

Media Day for NOAA's GOES-S

January 16, 2018

Earlier today, Florida-based media got an up-close look at NOAA's GOES-S, the second in a series of highly advanced geostationary weather satellites. Currently, the satellite is inside a secured clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville.

GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1, 2018, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and will be known as GOES-17 when it reaches final orbit. After an orbital test phase of its six instruments and their data, GOES-17 will be declared operational as the new GOES West satellite. 

GOES-S will provide coverage of the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, parts of South America and the Pacific Ocean extending to New Zealand.

GOES-16, the first satellite in the new series, launched on Nov. 19, 2016 and is operating in the GOES-East position.

Here are a few images from the GOES-S Media Day:

GOES-S Satellite Photo

GOES-S Satellite Photo

GOES-S Satellite Photo

GOES-S Satellite Photo


NOAA GOES-S (GOES-17) Prep for Launch - CLEANROOM LIVE FEED

January 9, 2018

GOES-R and GOES-S Side-by-Side

Check out this live video feed capturing the NOAA GOES-S (GOES-17) satellite being prepared for launch, scheduled for March 1, 2018. Activities include propulsion system functional testing to prepare for fuel and oxidizer to be loaded into the spacecraft. Please note - this feed is on a 2 hr. delay for security purposes and will be turned off when work is not being done.

Click here to watch the live feed


Exciting Imagery Available from the NEW GOES-East!

December 18, 2017

Exciting Imagery Available from the NEW GOES-East!
Earth as seen in Geocolor captured on December 18, 2017

Now in its new GOES-East position, the advanced GOES-16 satellite has officially joined NOAA’s operational observation network, providing forecasters with sharper, more defined images of severe storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other weather hazards in near real-time 24/7.

You can view the latest, stunning imagery from GOES-East via NOAA's new GOES-East Image Viewer. The Viewer provides "full disk" views of Earth (covering the Western Hemisphere) as well as views of the continental US and adjacent waters (CONUS). Finally, the viewer also provides "mesoscale" imagery--views of small regional or areas that can help reveal significant environmental features.

Visitors will be able to access and download still images as well as animated sequences of imagery covering several hours.

Check out the latest from GOES-East!


South for the winter: NOAA’s GOES-S satellite arrives in Florida ahead of 2018 launch

December 11, 2017

Loading up and ready to fly south, day 1: After a careful ride on a truck from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colo., GOES-S is loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy cargo jet at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. (NOAA/NASA)

NOAA’s GOES-S, the second in a series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites, headed south for the winter this week as it readies for launch in March 2018.

The spacecraft, protectively bundled up onboard an 18-wheeler inside a U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transport, completed its journey from the manufacturer in Littleton, Colo., to a clean room at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, December 4, 2017.

GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1, 2018, from Cape Canaveral and will be known as GOES-17 when it reaches final orbit. After an orbital test phase of its six instruments and their data, GOES-17 will be declared operational as the new GOES-West satellite. The spacecraft will provide coverage of the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, parts of South America and the Pacific Ocean extending to Guam.

Like NOAA’s GOES-16, the first satellite of the new series of geostationary satellites, GOES-S will offer three times the number of imaging channels with four times greater image resolution. That’s five times faster than NOAA’s older geostationary satellites. For the U.S. West Coast, this means faster and more accurate data for tracking wildfires and potentially dangerous storm systems — so-called atmospheric rivers — that can send huge amounts of rain and snow to California, Oregon and Washington State.

These new spacecraft will improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead-times, and enhance space weather monitoring.

Enjoy some photo postcards of GOES-S’ journey to Kennedy Space Center


NOAA GOES-S is Scheduled to Launch!

December 4, 2017

GOES-S is Scheduled to Launch!

NOAA GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1, 2018 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Atlas V was chosen because it has the right liftoff capability for the heavy weight requirements of the satellite. GOES-S will weigh over 11,000 pounds at launch. 

GOES-S is the second satellite in NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R Series, which includes GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U. GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch and a number once they achieve geostationary orbit. GOES-R, the first satellite in the series, launched in November 2016 and is now GOES-16. GOES-16 will take its place as NOAA’s GOES-East satellite later this month, keeping an eye on the continental United States and the Atlantic Ocean. 

GOES-S will be designated GOES-17 upon reaching geostationary orbit. After a period of calibration and validation, GOES-17 will be operational as GOES-West, providing coverage of the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. GOES-17 will give the Western Hemisphere two next-generation geostationary environmental satellites. Together, GOES-16 and GOES-17 will observe Earth from the west coast of Africa all the way to Guam.


NOAA Prepares to Move GOES-16 into GOES East Position

October 23, 2017

GOES-16 Instruments Image Illustration


NOAA is planning to move GOES-16 into its operational orbit at 75.2 degrees west longitude (the GOES East position) starting on November 30, 2017. GOES-16 will officially become GOES-East when all instruments resume regular operations on December 20, 2017.

During the drift period, five instruments (ABI, GLM, SUVI, SEISS, and EXIS) will be placed in safe or diagnostic modes and will not be capturing or distributing data. The magnetometers will be the only instruments that will continue to operate throughout the drift period.

NOAA’s GOES-13, currently serving as GOES-East, will continue to provide instrument data (allowing a period of overlap) until January 2, 2018, at which time instruments will be turned off and it will moved to its storage location at 60 degrees west.

Final scheduling of drift operations may change based on operational needs.


NOAA’s GOES-16 Provides Critical Data on Hurricane Maria

September 21, 2017

Although not yet operational, data from NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite proved vital in forecasting operations for Hurricane Maria as it neared Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Radar in San Juan went out at 5:50 a.m. EDT, just before Maria made landfall on the island. Land-based radar is used during storms to provide detailed information on hurricane wind fields, rain intensity, and storm position and movement.  With this critical technology disabled and a major hurricane approaching, forecasters were able to utilize data from NOAA’s latest geostationary satellite, GOES-16, to track the storm in real-time.

https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/assets/images/GOES-16_geocolor_image_of_Hurricane_Maria_over_Puerto_Rico.jpg
 
GOES-16 geocolor image of Hurricane Maria over Puerto Rico as it made landfall on September 20, 2017. Credit: CIRA

GOES-16 is able to scan a targeted area of severe weather as often as every 30 seconds, a capability not available with current GOES. This rapid scanning rate is allowing forecasters to analyze cloud patterns and track Maria in real time. GOES-16 also has three times more channels than the current GOES imager, providing better estimates of the structure of tropical cyclones and their environments. The four-fold improvement in resolution from GOES-16 provides greater accuracy of feature attributes, allowing for better characterization of the eyes of hurricanes. 

GOES-16 captured this infrared imagery of Hurricane Maria over Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. The dark red color, like that near the eyewall of the storm, corresponds to areas of great intensity. Credit: CIRA

In the absence of radar, GOES-16 data helped fill the void and allowed forecasters to keep an eye on Maria, which made landfall on September 20 near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, around 6:15 a.m. EDT as a category 4 hurricane. Forecasters continue to use the new capabilities available from GOES-16 to track the storm.

GOES-16, launched in November 2016, is currently in a central checkout orbit of 89.5 degrees west longitude, where it is undergoing an extended validation phase. The satellite will be relocated to its operational location as GOES-East at 75.2 degrees west late this year. 


GOES-16's GLM Sees Thunderstorms Mushrooming in the Amazon

August 14, 2017

This time lapse movie shows widespread individual thunderstorms mushrooming in the Amazon basin on the afternoon and evening of Thursday, August 10th, 2017. At the end of the movie, horizontally extensive lightning flashes in the evening can be observed across the tops of the mature and long-lived electrified clouds. This imagery was taken by GOES-16's lightning mapper.

 


NOAA’s GOES-S and GOES-T Satellites Coming Together

August 3, 2017

NOAA’s GOES-S and GOES-T Satellites Coming Together

Progress continues on the development of NOAA's GOES-S and GOES-T spacecraft that will follow the successful launch of GOES-16 last November. The GOES-S satellite is fully integrated and is currently undergoing its final functional testing to confirm it successfully passed mechanical and thermal environmental testing. Advancement has also been made in the assembly of the third satellite of the GOES-R series, GOES-T. Five of its instruments were delivered to the Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, Colorado. The majority of the spacecraft avionics have been integrated to the GOES-T system module and functional testing is underway.

To learn more about the latest developments with GOES-S and -T, click here.


GOES-S Set to Begin Electromagnetic Testing in August

July 18, 2017

GOES-S Set to Begin Electromagnetic Testing in August

GOES-S recently completed a review to assess its readiness to enter final testing to ensure the spacecraft can withstand the harsh environments of launch and space. The satellite was cleared to begin electromagnetic testing in August, which will confirm the electromagnetic signals produced by satellite’s components do not interfere with its operation. GOES-S has already completed  the other environmental tests necessary to prepare it for launch. Vibration testing simulates the stresses experienced during launch to make sure there are no structural weaknesses. 

Shock testing replicates the shocks encountered during, for example, the separation and deployment of solar panels after launch. Acoustics testing uses high-intensity horns to subject the satellite to extreme high sound pressure that simulates the launch environment. The satellite also underwent thermal vacuum testing, completed this spring, during which it was subjected to extreme hot and cold temperatures to simulate the conditions of launch and the space environment. GOES-S is scheduled to launch in spring 2018, joining GOES-16 in geostationary orbit to watch over the Western Hemisphere.


GOES-16 set to become GOES-EAST in November 

May 25, 2017

In the GOES East position, 75 degrees West, GOES-16 will cover a region including the West Coast of Africa, the central Atlantic Ocean, and the continental United States.
In the GOES East position, 75 degrees West, GOES-16 will cover a region including the West Coast of Africa, the central Atlantic Ocean, and the continental United States.

 

GOES-16, the most advanced weather satellite NOAA has ever developed, will be moved to the GOES-East position once it is declared operational in November. NOAA officials announced the decision regarding GOES-16’s placement earlier today, during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook news conference at NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland.

“GOES-16 will be placed in the east position where it can observe the entire continental U.S., and monitor areas most vulnerable to tornadoes, floods, land-falling tropical storms, hurricanes and other severe storms,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. To read more about GOES-16’s placement, visit the NOAA.gov website

National Weather Service Releases the 2017 Hurricane Outlook

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30 and, based on this year’s outlook, forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those named storms, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). Read the full 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook at NOAA.gov and get tips on preparing for hurricanes and other types of severe weather at NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation website.

Top 3 Terms to Know for Hurricane Season 

As part of that preparation, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these three hurricane-related terms you’re likely to hear as this year’s hurricane season progresses.

Hurricane Disasters: Calculating the Damage

Hurricanes and other weather disasters can cause billions of dollars of damage. During 2016, Americans experienced 15 weather disasters costing more than $1 billion dollars each—the second highest number of events since 1980. Insurers have their own plans to help them cover losses resulting from severe weather. These back-up plans are known as “reinsurance.” 

Watch industry professionals discuss how they use environmental data from NOAA to model potential catastrophes and to gauge damage after they occur.  You can also get a quick overview of the subject or dig into the details in our case study (PDF).


GOES-16's Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) Captured Electrifying Imagery of the Lightning

May 3, 2017

GOES-16's Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) captured this electrifying imagery of the lightning associated with the recent severe weather over the Mississippi Valley and southern Plains this past weekend. (The animation begins at approximately noon on Friday, April 28, 2017, and ends at midnight on Saturday, April, 29.)

According to a variety of media reports, the storms caused the deaths of at least 13 people, produced widespread heavy rain resulting in flash floods, high winds that down trees and left thousands without power, a late-season blizzard in Kansas, and several tornadoes.

GLM observes total lightning, including in-cloud and cloud to ground lightning, and will continually observe lightning flashes day and night across the Western Hemisphere. Of particular note in this animation is the horizontal propagation of lightning flashes occurring behind the line of intense storms. Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening and could become more dangerous. GLM, in concert with other forecaster tools, will help provide more accurate and earlier warnings of developing severe storms and give communities more time to prepare for impending severe weather.

This animation appears here courtesy of Lockheed Martin, which built the GLM. To learn more about the instrument and how it will improve the forecasting of dangerous weather, go to goo.gl/MkesoS

Please note: GOES-16 data are currently experimental and under-going testing and hence should not be used operationally.


GOES-16 Imagery of Deadly Storms in the Central United States

May 1, 2017

GOES-16 captured this amazing infrared imagery of the strong storms that erupted over over parts of the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley this past weekend. According to a variety of media reports, the storms caused the deaths of at least 13 people, produced widespread heavy rain resulting in flash floods, high winds that down trees and left thousands without power, a late-season blizzard in Kansas, and several tornadoes.

This animation was created with Band-13, one of the new spectral bands offered by GOES-16's Advanced Baseline Imager. Band-13, the so-called "clean" longwave infrared band, is primarily used to monitor clouds and storm intensity. As shown here, the imagery produced by this band offers spectacular views of meteorological phenomena, such as the colder cloud tops (shown in green/yellow/red) associated with these storms, in rich detail.


SUVI Sees a Solar Flare

April 24, 2017

See videos of the eruption in three channels here

On Tuesday, April 18, the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) on GOES-16 observed a large solar eruption linked to a C5 class solar flare. C-flares are moderate events without a lot of impact on space weather near Earth, but the eruption itself was a large and dramatic one that might have had some space weather consequences had it been directed towards the Earth. Instead, the eruption blasted harmlessly into interplanetary space far from Earth, but the location where it occurred, just on the limb of the Sun, gave SUVI an fabulous view of the event.

Large eruptions like this one can cause large-scale restructuring of the sun’s magnetic field. In these movies you can see just how this happens, as solar magnetic field loops, filled with million-degree solar plasma, are first opened up by the eruption and eventually close back down again. We see a large darkening near the eruption as material from the sun’s atmosphere pours out into space, and a subsequent re-brightening as that material is slowly replenished afterwards. We also see another classic signature of solar eruptions, so-called post-flare loops, an arcade of glowing magnetic loops that form in the wake of the eruption. These are brand new magnetic field structures, formed by the very processes that extract stored energy in the sun’s magnetic field that power both the the eruption and bright flare that accompanies it.

 


A High-Altitude Plane takes to the Sky for NOAA's GOES-16 Field Campaign

April 17, 2017

A High-Altitude Plane takes to the Sky for GOES-16 Field Campaign

 

Flying out of Palmdale, California, a NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude plane and its suite of highly specialized instruments recently took to the air over the Sonoran Desert in Mexico and the Mojave Desert in Ivanpah, California, on March 23 and 28 to validate GOES-16’s Advanced Baseline Imager — the satellite’s primary instrument.

Read More


Preparing GOES-16 for Operations

March 30, 2017

Preparing GOES-16 for Operations

Once a satellite is successfully launched, there is a still a lot of work that goes into making sure it’s ready to provide data for your local weather forecast.

The GOES-16 satellite was launched in November 2016 and is currently in the post-launch testing phase to prepare it for operations later this year. Post-launch testing ensures the GOES-16 satellite and ground system can perform the mission of providing critical atmospheric, hydrologic, oceanic, climatic, solar and space data for forecasts and warnings.

So what does all this mean? Launching a satellite is like opening a new restaurant. Post-launch testing is like a soft opening with a limited audience, which allows for trouble-shooting and preparing for the grand opening.

During post-launch testing, there are periodic, planned data outages that are necessary to perform specific verification and validation functions. These outages are generally brief and part of normal post-launch testing, and they are part of the reason it’s important not to depend on GOES-16 data for operational needs during the testing period.

The post-launch test phase is expected to complete in June, at which time the satellite will be handed over to the NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations. After that time, GOES-16 will undergo an additional six months of extended validation before moving to its final location in November, when GOES-16 data will be deemed operational. During this validation period, additional testing outages may occur.

 


Scientists Begin Field Campaign for NOAA’s GOES-16

March 27, 2017

Scientists Begin Field Campaign for NOAA’s GOES-16

GOES-16 is ready to embark on another major milestone— The GOES-16 Field Campaign! During this three-month event, scientists and engineers will use an assemblage of high-altitude planes, ground-based sensors, drones, and satellites to fine-tune GOES-16’s suite of brand new instruments!

Over the next several weeks, scientists will use this technology to collect measurements over various parts of Earth, from arid desert and areas of dense vegetation, to open oceans and storms exhibiting lightning activity--nearly everything NOAA’s GOES satellites see from their orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.

At the same time, GOES-16’s operators will obtain measurements of the same locations using two of the satellite’s most revolutionary instruments—the Advanced Baseline Imager and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper. The data sets from these instruments will be analyzed and compared to the data collected by the planes, drones, and ground sensors to validate and calibrate the instruments on the satellite.

Read more...


A Note to the Weather Community about Using GOES-16 Data

March 9, 2017

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service appreciates the enthusiasm in the weather community and support for our newest on-orbit satellite, GOES-16, which will enhance the weather forecasts that save lives and protect property nationwide.

At this time, data from GOES-16 are considered preliminary and are undergoing validation testing. NOAA is therefore requesting that any organizations that redistribute GOES-16 data -- before it is declared operational -- include the following disclaimer with the data:

"NOAA's GOES-16 satellite has not been declared operational and its data are preliminary and undergoing testing."

Users receiving these data through any dissemination means (including, but not limited to, PDA and GOES Rebroadcast) assume all risk related to their use of GOES-16 data and NOAA disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

It is expected that GOES 16 data will be declared operational, approximately 6-12 months after launch, which occurred in November 2016.


Flashy First Images Arrive from NOAA’s GOES-16 Lightning Mapper

Satellite’s instrument will help forecasters pinpoint severe storms sooner

March 6, 2017

Detecting and predicting lightning just got a lot easier. The first images from a new instrument onboard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite are giving NOAA National Weather Service forecasters richer information about lightning that will help them alert the public to dangerous weather.

The first lightning detector in a geostationary orbit, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), is transmitting data never before available to forecasters. The mapper continually looks for lightning flashes in the Western Hemisphere, so forecasters know when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous. Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening quickly and could produce severe weather.

During heavy rain, GLM data will show when thunderstorms are stalled or if they are gathering strength. When combined with radar and other satellite data, GLM data may help forecasters anticipate severe weather and issue flood and flash flood warnings sooner. In dry areas, especially in the western United States, information from the instrument will help forecasters, and ultimately firefighters, identify areas prone to wildfires sparked by lightning.

Lightning data captured on February 14, 2017
This image shows lightning data captured on February 14, 2017 over the course of an hour and displayed over an image of the Western Hemisphere from the Advanced Baseline Imager on GOES-16. Brighter colors indicate more lightning energy was recorded; color bar units are the calculated kilowatt-hours of total optical emissions from lightning. The brightest storm system is located over the Gulf Coast of Texas, the same storm system in the accompanying video. 

Accurate tracking of lightning and thunderstorms over the oceans, too distant for land-based radar and sometimes difficult to see with satellites, will support safe navigation for aviators and mariners.

The new mapper also detects in-cloud lightning, which often occurs five to 10 minutes or more before potentially deadly cloud-to-ground strikes. This means more precious time for forecasters to alert those involved in outdoor activities of the developing threat. 

Learn more about GOES-16 and all its exciting possibilities for weather forecasting improvements by visiting the GOES-16 website & to download the MP4 video click here.


SUVI Instrument On Board NOAA's GOES-16 Sends First Solar Images

February 27, 2017

 

The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) instrument aboard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite captured a large coronal hole on the sun on January 29, 2017. The sun’s 11-year activity cycle is currently approaching solar minimum and during this time powerful solar flares become scarce and coronal holes become the primary space weather threat. Once operational, SUVI will capture full-disk solar images around-the-clock and will be able to see more of the environment around the sun than earlier NOAA geostationary satellites.

The sun’s upper atmosphere, or solar corona, consists of extremely hot plasma, an ionized gas. This plasma interacts with the sun’s powerful magnetic field, generating bright loops of material that can be heated to millions of degrees. Outside hot coronal loops, there are cool, dark regions called filaments which can erupt and become a key source of space weather when the sun is active. Other dark regions are called coronal holes, which occur where the sun’s magnetic field allows plasma to stream away from the sun at high speed, resulting in cooler areas. The effects linked to coronal holes are generally milder than those of coronal mass ejections, but when the outflow of solar particles in intense, they can still pose risks to Earth.

These six images show the sun in each of SUVI's six wavelength, each of which is used to see a different aspect of solar phenomena, such as coronal holes, flares, coronal mass ejections, and so on.
These six images show the sun in each of SUVI's six wavelength, each of which is used to see a different aspect of solar phenomena, such as coronal holes, flares, coronal mass ejections, and so on.

The solar corona is so hot that it is best observed with X-ray and extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) cameras. Various elements emit light at specific EUV and X-ray wavelengths depending on their temperature, so by observing in several different wavelengths, a picture of the complete temperature structure of the corona can be made. The GOES-16 SUVI observes the sun in six EUV channels.

Note: GOES-16 data are currently experimental and under-going testing and hence should not be used operationally. To see more imagery from GOES-16 and other updates about the satellite, visit the GOES-16 image gallery.


NOAA’s GOES-16 Sees Northeast Winter Storm Strengthen

February 14, 2017

 

This captivating water vapor imagery from GOES-16 shows the intensification of the winter storm that brought heavy snow to Maine and other areas of the Northeast yesterday, February 13, 2017.

According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, as the yesterday's winter storm in the Northeast moved off the coast and over the northwestern Atlantic, its surface pressure dropped from 996 hectopascals (hPA) at 11:00 am yesterday to 972 hPA at 10:30 pm, a drop of 24 hPA in 18.5 hours. (A hectopascal (hPA) is aA unit of pressure equal to a millibar.)

This rapid drop in barometric pressure is what meteorologists sometimes refer to as a "bomb," a term the NOAA Glossary defines as "the rapid intensification of a cyclone (aka: low pressure system) wherein the surface pressure falls by at least 24 millibars in a 24 hour period." (The term "bombogenesis" -- a combination of "bomb" and "cyclogenesis" -- which means the development of a cyclonic circulation) -- is sometimes used to describe these types of systems.

Although the surface circulation isn't visible in this water vapor imagery, which was created with the Advanced Baseline Imager's Band 9, the associated mid- and upper-level circulation can be seen. By the end of the loop (approximately 5:30 am today, February 14), the circulation had strengthened further, and formed a tight spiral, wrapping the mid- and upper level clouds, and water vapor completely around it.

Note: GOES-16 data are currently experimental and under-going testing and hence should not be used operationally. 


NOAA's GOES-16 Watches Winter Storm over the East Coast

February 13, 2017

 

 

GOES-16 captured a potent low pressure system as it moved off the east coast of the U.S. and out over the Atlantic this morning. Before heading out to sea, the storm dumped more than 20 inches of new snow over portions of coastal Maine, and more than 10 inches of snow over a significant portion of New England. Peak wind gusts were clocked at 63 miles per hour in Maryland and some areas of Pennsylvania received a 1/4 inch of ice accumulation.

This animation was created with the Advanced Baseline Imager's (ABI) band 5, which is often referred to as the "snow/ice band" because it will be used to assist with daytime cloud, snow, and ice discrimination among other tasks. Band 5 is one of the new spectral bands on GOES-16 that the previous GOES imagers do not have. As the sun rises, higher clouds cast shadows on the lower cloud deck, and band 5 allows forecasters to differentiate between clouds composed of liquid water and those composed of ice crystals.

Note: GOES-16 data are currently experimental and under-going testing and hence should not be used operationally. To learn more about Band 5 of the Advanced Baseline Imager, go to goo.gl/DrQIir


Winter Storm Water Vapor Imagery Shows Benefits of NOAA's GOES-16

February 13, 2017

 

The current GOES imager only has one mid-level water vapor band, while the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on GOES-16 has three. This allows ABI to capture water vapor features and atmospheric motion within more layers of the atmosphere, which helps numerical weather prediction models better depict of the current state of the atmosphere, and leads to better forecasts of storm development and movement.

For example, note the finer spatial resolution of ABI band (approximately 2 km) as compared to the imager aboard GOES-13 (approximately 4 km). The fine detail of small-scale mountain waves can be seen in the ABI data, but not in the current GOES images. Similarly, during the later portion of the animation, a post-cold-frontal trough can be seen offshore moving southward in the imagery from GOES-16, but not in the GOES-13 imagery. The faster processing afforded by ABI is also evident, with 5 minute imagery, versus 15 or 30 minute from the current GOES imager. More frequent imagery is important, as it allows for quicker detection of fast-developing convection and other phenomena.

The fine detail of small-scale mountain waves can be seen in the ABI data

New Data from NOAA GOES-16’s Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS) Instrument

February 10, 2017

This plot of seiss data shows injections of protons and electrons observed by the Magnetospheric Particle Sensors (MPS-HI) and Solar Galactic Proton Sensor (SGPS) on January 19, 2017
This plot of SEISS data shows injections of protons and electrons observed by the Magnetospheric Particle Sensors MPS-HI and Solar and Galactic Proton Sensor (SGPS) on January 19, 2017. MPS-HI and SGPS are two of the individual sensor units on SEISS. The fluxes shown are from the MPS-HI telescopes that look radially outward from the Earth, and from the lowest-energy channel observed by the eastward-looking SGPS.  

 

The new Space Environment In‐Situ Suite (SEISS) instrument onboard NOAA’s GOES-16 is working and successfully sending data back to Earth!

This plot shows how fluxes of charged particles increased over a few minutes around the satellite on January 19, 2017. These particles are often associated with brilliant displays of aurora borealis at northern latitudes and australis at southern latitudes; however, they can pose a radiation hazard to astronauts and other satellites, and threaten radio communications.

Information from SEISS will help NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center provide early warning of these high flux events, so astronauts, satellite operators and others can take action to protect lives and equipment.

SEISS is composed of five energetic particle sensor units. The SEISS sensors have been collecting data continuously since January 8, 2017, with an amplitude, energy and time resolution that is greater than earlier generations of NOAA’s geostationary satellites.

SEISS was built by Assurance Technology Corporation and its subcontractor, the University of New Hampshire. To learn more about the SEISS instrument, click here.


NOAA's GOES-16's Extreme Ultraviolet and X-Ray Irradiance Sensors Observes Solar Flares

February 3, 2017

The figure shows an example of EXIS observations at two different wavelengths of a flare that peaked at 11:05 UTC [6:05 a.m. EST] on January 21, 2017.
The figure shows an example of EXIS observations at two different wavelengths of a flare that peaked at 11:05 UTC [6:05 a.m. EST] on January 21, 2017. This is a relatively small flare, yet the brightness of the sun in soft (lower energy) X-rays increased by a factor of 16. EXIS will give NOAA and space weather forecasters the first indication that a flare is occurring on the sun, as well as the strength of the flare, how long it lasts, the location of the flare on the sun, and the potential for impacts here at Earth.

On January 21, 2017, the GOES-16 Extreme Ultraviolet and X-Ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) observed solar flares.

Solar flares are huge eruptions of energy on the sun and often produce clouds of plasma traveling more than a million miles an hour. When these clouds reach Earth they can cause radio communications blackouts, disruptions to electric power grids, errors in GPS navigation, and hazards to satellites and astronauts.

The EXIS instrument on NOAA’s GOES-16, built by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado, measures solar flares at several wavelengths and improves upon current capabilities by capturing larger flares, measuring the location of the flares on the sun, and measuring flares in more wavelengths. The GOES-16 EXIS will provide forecasters at the NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center with early indications of impending space weather storms so they can issue alerts, watches and warnings.

Current geostationary satellites measure solar X-ray and extreme ultraviolet fluxes. The higher resolution EXIS instrument will provide new capabilities, including the ability to capture larger solar flares.

The figure shows an example of EXIS observations at two different wavelengths of a flare that peaked at 11:05 UTC [6:05 a.m. EST] on January 21, 2017. This is a relatively small flare, yet the brightness of the sun in soft (lower energy) X-rays increased by a factor of 16. EXIS will give NOAA and space weather forecasters the first indication that a flare is occurring on the sun, as well as the strength of the flare, how long it lasts, the location of the flare on the sun, and the potential for impacts here at Earth.

Click here to learn more about GOES-16's EXIS instrument.


NOAA’s GOES-16 Satellite Sends First Images to Earth

January 17, 2017

This composite color full-disk visible image was captured at 1:07pm EST on January 15, 2017 and created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the ABI.
This composite color full-disk visible image was captured at 1:07pm EST on January 15, 2017 and created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the ABI. The image shows North and South America and the surrounding oceans. GOES-16 observes Earth from from the coast of West Africa, to Hawaii, and everything in between.

The first images from GOES-16 have arrived! Join us in marveling at theses breath-taking, high-resolution images from NOAA's next-generation geostationary satellite and get a glimpse of the future of and weather forecasting! These incredibly sharp images from GOES-16's Advanced Baseline Imager will enable scientists to explore the Earth's atmosphere and weather like never before, and usher in an era of new weather forecasting possibilities.

See what all the buzz is about. Read the GOES-16 first images press release and check out our image gallery.


Scientists Receive Preliminary Data from GOES-16's Magnetometer

January 5, 2017

Mag Uncalibrated Data Chart

On December 22, scientists received preliminary data from the outboard magnetometer (MAG) instrument aboard GOES-16!

MAG observations of Earth's geomagnetic field strength are an important part of NOAA’s space weather mission, with the data used in space weather forecasting, model validation, and for developing new space weather models. The GOES-16 MAG samples five times faster than previous GOES magnetometers, which increases the range of space weather phenomena that can be measured. (You can learn more about the GOES-16's magnetometer at goo.gl/cAfjQw.)

Earth’s geomagnetic field acts as a shield, protecting us from hazardous incoming solar radiation. Geomagnetic storms, caused by eruptions on the surface of the sun, can interfere with communications and navigation systems, cause damage to satellites, cause health risks to astronauts, and threaten power utilities. When a solar flare occurs, GOES-16 will tell space weather forecasters where it happened on the sun and how strong it was. Using that information, forecasters can determine if the explosion of energy is coming toward Earth or not.

Learn more about space weather and our infrastructure at http://go.usa.gov/x8y34


Is that a buffalo...in space?

December 16, 2016

The University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics works the CU mascot into the design of GOES-16's EXIS instrument

The University of Colorado (CU) Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics (LASP) always finds a way to work an image of the CU Boulder mascot Ralphie, an American Bison, into everything they build-- including an instrument on GOES-16!

Ralphie is quite literally front-and-center on GOES-16's Extreme Ultraviolet and X-Ray Irradiance Sensors, or EXIS. The sensors are critical to understanding and monitoring solar irradiance in the upper atmosphere, that is, the power and effect of the sun's electromagnetic radiation per unit of area.

The buffalo image is integrated into their mirrored blanket support bracket located on the front of the EXIS EUVS subsystem, seen here in this picture. Learn more about EXIS here.


GOES-16 Continues to Come to Life

December 12, 2016

Over the last week, GOES-16 has deployed its magnetometer boom; powered on its ABI, GLM, SUVI, and EXIS instruments; and its ground stations are now receiving space weather data from the spacecraft! The satellite's instruments will continue to progress through their planned testing and calibration phases over the next several weeks.

Earth’s geomagnetic field acts as a shield, protecting us from hazardous incoming solar radiation. Geomagnetic storms, caused by eruptions on the surface of the sun, can interfere with communications and navigation systems, cause damage to satellites, cause health risks to astronauts, and threaten power utilities. When a solar flare occurs, GOES-16 will tell space weather forecasters where it happened on the sun and how strong it was. Using that information, forecasters can determine if the explosion of energy is coming toward Earth or not.

Once a geomagnetic storm reaches Earth, GOES-16 will measure the invisible magnetic field and particle radiation environment that surrounds the planet. These measurements will tell forecasters exactly what is happening, providing minute by minute updates as the geomagnetic storm progresses.

This video shows GOES-16's magnetometer being deployed during testing here on Earth.


GOES-16 and its ground systems prepare for testing

December 6, 2016

Artist rendering of the GOES-R spacecraft

After a series of maneuvers, conducted using the satellite's hydrazine bipropellent thrusters (HBTs), GOES-16 has placed itself in its designated 89.5 degree West longitude checkout location where it will undergo an extended checkout and validation phase of approximately one year.

Within the next few weeks, GOES-16's magnetometer boom will be deployed and the satellite's primary instruments, the ABI, GLM, SUVI, EXIS, and SEISS, will be powered on and tested!

The GOES-R ground system is also reporting that the system is stable and performing very well. The ground systems have successfully supported launch, orbit raising, and spacecraft activation and will now prepare for the first data to begin flowing from the satellite.


GOES-R is now GOES-16!

November 30, 2016

Artist rendering of the GOES-R spacecraft with Earth reflecting in solar panel

Yesterday, November 29, 2016, NOAA's GOES-R satellite executed its final liquid apogee engine burn without anomaly. This has placed the satellite approximately 22,000 miles away with an inclination of 0.0 degrees, meaning it has reached geostationary orbit. GOES-R is now GOES-16!

Later today, GOES-16 will perform its second stage solar array deployment, releasing the solar array yoke and solar pointing platform. In the days that follow, the software will be transitioned from the 'orbit raising' mission phase to 'operational,' several maneuvers will be conducted to adjust the satellites precise orbit, and the magnetometer boom will be deployed. Testing and calibration of GOES-16 will then begin.


GOES-R Update: November 23, 2016

November 23, 2016

Artist rendering of the GOES-R spacecraft

Since launch on Saturday, November 19, GOES-R has transitioned to the ‘orbit raising’ phase of the mission and is making its way to geostationary orbit. The spacecraft is currently positioned in a sun-point attitude, which allows its solar array to harness the sun’s power.

The GOES-R team has performed the first liquid apogee engine (LAE) burn without anomaly. This engine burn is part of a series of LAEs that will help position GOES-R in geostationary orbit. The next major milestone will be the second stage deployment of GOES-R’s solar array, which is currently scheduled to occur on November 30, 2016.


What's next for GOES-R?

November 21, 2016

The GOES-R Satellite Launching

NOAA's GOES-R satellite launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida this weekend at 6;42pm on November 19, 2016. But what's next for the nation's most advanced weather satellite to-date?

The GOES-R team has confirmed satellite communication and power. Over the next several days, team members will perform a series of maneuvers to bring the satellite into geostationary orbit. This is expected to occur approximately 16 days after launch.

Once GOES-R is placed in geostationary orbit, it will undergo an extended checkout and validation phase lasting approximately one year. The satellite will transition to operations immediately afterward. Whether it will serve as GOES East or GOES West has yet to be determined. The final decision will be based on the health and performance of the NOAA GOES constellation.

Click here to read more about the launch of GOES-R.

For the latest news about GOES-R, now GOES-16, stay tuned to the GOES-R launch page.


We have lift off! NOAA’s GOES-R satellite heads to orbit

November 19, 2016

The GOES-R Satellite Launching

GOES-R, the first of NOAA’s highly advanced geostationary weather satellites, has successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 6:42pm EST and is on its way to orbit! Read the full story here.


Space Craft Separation

November 19, 2016

Spacecraft separation has been confirmed and GOES-R is flying free in space for the first time! Good luck GOES-R!! Here is one last live look at GOES-R as it heads off into space to start its mission.


We Have Lift Off!!

November 19, 2016

GO GOES-R GO!!

We have liftoff of GOES-R, NOAA’s revolutionary next-generation geostationary weather satellite! The satellite is now on its way to orbit. Follow along on Twitter by following @NOAASatellites.


It's Show Time!

November 19, 2016

GOES-R on the launch pad, launch in 2 hours

Watch the launch live at www.nasa.gov/nasatv. You can also get live launch updates and follow along on Twitter by following @NOAAsatellites and checking in right here on the official GOES-R launch page.

 


Launch Day is Here!

November 19, 2016

GOES-R on the launch pad

It’s showtime! GOES-R, NOAA’s next-generation geostationary weather satellite, launches today at approximately 5:42pm EST.

For live coverage of the launch and all of the pre-launch activities, click here for NASA TV downlink, schedule information, and streaming video. Coverage will begin this evening at 4:45pm EST.

You can also get live launch updates and follow along on Twitter by following @NOAAsatellites and checking in right here on the official GOES-R launch page.


GOES-R's New Imager is Faster and Clearer than Ever

November 17, 2016

GOES-R is NOAA’s most advanced geostationary weather satellite to-date. But how different can it really be?

Imagine going from a black and white TV to high definition overnight. GOES-R is faster and clearer than current GOES satellites, providing forecasters with more detail and more information than ever before.

Using a powerful new instrument, called the Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, GOES-R will provide data and imagery about weather over the entire Western Hemisphere in real-time-- it can even do it as frequently as every 30 seconds! This enables NOAA to gather data using three times more channels, four times the resolution, at five times faster than before. This faster, more accurate data means better observations of developing storms. The ABI will be used for a wide range of applications related to weather, oceans, land, climate and hazards.

This video from Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite, which uses a nearly identical imager to the one that will be aboard GOES-R, shows the incredible detail and clarity that will be available from NOAA’s new satellite. Located over the Asia-Pacific region, Himawari-8 provides geostationary Earth observations over the Eastern Hemisphere. This data, along with other geostationary satellites around the globe, help provide a more complete understanding of Earth from 22,000 miles away.

Learn more about the ABI.


GOES-R's Revolutionary Lightning Mapper

November 16, 2016

Did you know that NOAA’s GOES-R satellite will carry the first operational lightning mapper ever flown in space?

Based on years of research, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, or GLM, is a revolutionary new instrument that will measure total lightning (in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground) activity continuously over the Americas and adjacent ocean regions with near-uniform spatial resolution.

Severe weather often exhibits a significant increase in lightning activity many minutes before radar can detect a potential storm. This data visualization shows actual lightning measurements captured by an array of ground-based lightning detectors capable of tracing how lightning propagates through the atmosphere. It simulates how the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper will monitor atmospheric flashes in and around potentially severe weather. This technology could provide critical minutes of valuable warning time in advance of approaching severe storms.


GOES-R: Monitoring Space Weather

November 15, 2016

GOES-R will be a game changer for forecasting across the United States, but did you know Earth’s weather is not the only weather the satellite will monitor?

In today’s digital world, space weather is no joke. Geomagnetic storms, caused by eruptions on the surface of the sun, can interfere with communications and navigation systems on Earth, threaten power utilities, damage satellites, and cause risk to astronauts. GOES-R has a suite of instruments that play a critical role in monitoring space weather.

Check out this video to learn more about how GOES-R’s instruments will support NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Not sure what space weather is? Check out this story on space weather and Earth’s infrastructure.


GOES-R: A helping hand for those who need it

November 14, 2016

SARSAT Diagram

GOES-R, the nation’s most advanced weather satellite to date, will not only provide more weather and environmental information than ever before, it will also provide a helping hand to stranded hikers, sailors, and pilots.

Equipped with a transponder that detects emergency distress signals emitted from emergency beacons, GOES-R will relay the location of activated beacons to NOAA, who will notify search and rescue personnel at the U.S. Coast Guard or Air Force. Since SARSAT began in 1982, the program has aided in the rescue of nearly 40,000 people worldwide, including roughly 8,000 within the United States and its surrounding waters. In fact, on August 24, 2016, NOAA Satellites aided in the rescue of 45 people stranded at sea. It was the largest single rescue event in, or around, the United States credited to NOAA’s role in the international Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system.

Learn more about GOES-R and SARSAT.


GOES-R: Coming to an orbit 22,240 miles from you!

November 14, 2016

In just 5 days… coming to an orbit 22,240 miles from you… GOES-R: NOAA’s next-generation geostationary weather satellite! Faster, more accurate, and more advanced than any NOAA GOES satellite to date, GOES-R will be a game changer for weather forecasting across the country.


GOES-R to Launch November 19, 5:42 PM EST

November 10, 2016

An Atlas V rocket is set to lift off Nov. 19 at 5:42 p.m. EST to deliver NOAA’s latest-generation weather satellite, GOES-R, into orbit. After several months of processing at Astrotech in Titusville, Florida, the GOES-R spacecraft has been encapsulated inside a payload fairing for protection during the climb through Earth’s atmosphere aboard an ULA Atlas V launch vehicle on the way to orbit. Carrying the most advanced sensors of their kind, the GOES-R spacecraft will fly more than 22,000 miles above Earth where it will offer weather forecasters an unblinking eye on conditions on the planet below.


New Launch Date

November 7, 2016

The launch of GOES-R from Cape Canaveral, FL is now scheduled for no earlier than November 19, 2016 pending approval.


Launch Delayed

November 3, 2016

The launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V carrying the GOES-R weather satellite for NOAA and NASA is being rescheduled from November 16, 2016. The postponement was caused by the same minor Atlas V booster issue discovered on ULA's WorldView-4 mission scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The team is actively working towards a resolution. NOAA will provide an update on a new launch date once it is established.


GOES-R Gets Encapsulated

October 31, 2016

GOES-R Preparation Photo

Last week, team members with United Launch Alliance (ULA) worked to encapsulate NOAA's GOES-R satellite in its payload fairing -- another major step in the countdown to launch!

The payload fairing is a specially designed nose cone that, in addition to creating a more aerodynamic profile, encapsulates the satellite, protecting it during the ascent through Earth's atmosphere. Once in space, the fairing is no longer needed and is ejected. This is when GOES-R will be exposed to space for the first time.


Making a Weather Forecast with GOES-R

October 26, 2016

GOES-R will keep a close eye on Earth's weather, but it is over 22,000 miles away in space! Have you ever wondered how your local weather forecaster knows what GOES-R is seeing? Learn how this state-of-the-art satellite's data will be used to create weather forecasts across the country from our number 1 expert-- GOES-R!


November 16 Approved as New Launch Date

October 25, 2016

NOAA continues to work with its partners -- NASA, ULA, and the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing – preparing for the launch of the GOES-R spacecraft. The new launch date of November 16th has been approved by the 45th Space Wing and the mission team continues to make good progress recovering from the Hurricane Matthew impacts.


Launch Delayed: Assessments Continue

October 18, 2016

NOAA continues to work with its partners -- NASA, United Launch Alliance (ULA) and the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing -- to assess the infrastructure and facilities necessary for GOES-R launch following Hurricane Matthew. Additional assessments are underway to fully understand the impact the storm had on local facilities. Before Hurricane Matthew, the launch date was set for November 4, 2016.

Once Matthew passed, the launch team began an initial assessment of the launch infrastructure and determined that a move of the launch date is needed based on the storm's impacts. ULA, for planning purposes, has requested a new range date of no earlier than November 16, pending approval from the 45th Space Wing. Throughout the storm, the GOES-R spacecraft remained safe inside Astrotech Space Operations, in Titusville, Fla. NOAA will provide an update as new details become available.


Determining Impacts from Hurricane Matthew

October 12, 2016

The GOES-R satellite reaches another major milestone today as it flies from Littleton, Colorado to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Once there, technicians will unwrap the satellite in what is called the “clean room.” Over the next several weeks, the satellite will be prepared for its important mission in space.

 


Safety Measures: Hurricane Matthew 

October 7, 2016

In advance of Hurricane Matthew, the team preparing NOAA’s GOES-R spacecraft for launch took appropriate safety measures to secure the satellite at its present location -- Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla. GOES-R is contained in a building that can withstand strong (category 4) hurricane conditions. After the effects of Hurricane Matthew subside, NOAA and NASA will carefully assess the spacecraft and provide an update on its status.


GOES-R takes another step towards space today!

August 22, 2016

GOES-R Preparation Photo

The GOES-R satellite reaches another major milestone today as it flies from Littleton, Colorado to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Once there, technicians will unwrap the satellite in what is called the “clean room.” Over the next several weeks, the satellite will be prepared for its important mission in space.

Shipping a satellite is no small feat, however. GOES-R is over 18 feet wide and weighs over 6,000 lb! It will be stored in a special satellite shipping container aboard a massive C-5 airplane as it makes the journey across the country.

“This milestone is a great achievement for the entire GOES-R team, who have worked tirelessly to get the spacecraft to Florida,” said Greg Mandt, NOAA’s GOES-R system program director. “Moving forward, we are focused on preparing this highly advanced weather satellite for its historic launch in just a few short months.”

GOES-R is scheduled to launch Nov. 4 at 5:40 p.m. EDT aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Be sure to stay tuned to the NOAA Satellites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts over the next few days to see updates on the process!

Update

Yesterday, NOAA’s GOES-R satellite was officially unveiled after its journey from Littleton, Colorado to Cape Canaveral, Florida. After landing, the satellite was moved to its storage facility where technicians quickly began work to unpack and inspect the satellite. The successful shipment of GOES-R has brought the satellite another step closer to space and to revolutionizing weather forecasting across the United States.

Can’t get enough GOES-R? Tune in to the NBC Today Show tomorrow morning, August 25, during the 8am EDT hour and the NBC Nightly News tomorrow evening. See a behind the scenes look at the revolutionary new satellite and a special interview with Al Roker and Dr. Stephen Volz, NESDIS Assistant Administrator.


Learn about GOES-R like never before!

May 25, 2016

GOES-R Preparation Photo

Five times faster weather coverage, better data for hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, real-time mapping of total lightning for improved severe weather forecasts, advanced warning of space weather hazards, and improved transportation safety-- all from ONE satellite!

With the revolutionary GOES-R satellite, scheduled to launch November 4, 2016, NOAA is poised to once again significantly improve weather forecasting and severe weather prediction.

Learn more about all of the amazing things GOES-R will do in our brand new story map, "GOES-R: The Future of NOAA's Geostationary Weather Satellites."


GOES-R Rehearsals: Preparing to Deploy

May 11, 2016

GOES-R Preparation Photo

In preparation for this fall's launch of GOES-R, the GOES-R team has begun a series of important rehearsals.

Using a satellite simulator, the GOES-R team is practicing crucial steps in the satellite's deployment, including orbit raising, post-separation events, solar array deployment, and propulsion system readiness— under both normal and contingency conditions – to train operators and test the satellite's ground systems.

Learn more about these detailed and important mission rehearsals!


GOES-R and Global Partnerships

June 15, 2016

GOES-R and Global Partnerships

GOES-R is launching soon and we're not the only ones excited about it. GOES-R will be a game-changer for the entire Western Hemisphere!

Seeing from the coast of West Africa to Guam and everything in between, NOAA's geostationary satellites provide vital data and information for meteorologists and academics throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Learn more about GOES-R's global partnerships and how scientists around the world are preparing for GOES-R's amazing capabilities here.


Meet GOES-R!

July 21, 2016

NOAA scientists joined the Reddit community to discuss GOES-R: Changing the Future of Hurricane Forecasting.

On July 21, 2016, NOAA scientists joined the Reddit community to discuss GOES-R: Changing the Future of Hurricane Forecasting.

Dr. Steve Goodman, GOES-R's senior scientist, and Andrea Schumacher, CIRA research associate and GOES-R/JPSS satellite liaison to the National Hurricane Center, answered a wide range of questions about NOAA's state-of-the-art satellite, hurricanes, and the future of hurricane forecasting. Read the full conversations here!


GOES-R Scientists Participate in a Live Reddit AMA!

December 9, 2015

From weather and hazards on Earth to search and rescue and bursts of energy from the sun, the GOES-R satellite will see it all from 22,300 miles above our planet! Before the satellite goes to space in November, be sure to check out this video and let GOES-R tell you a little about itself!