But with the emergence of the next-generation GOES-16 as NOAA’s new GOES-East satellite, GOES-13, which held the position since April 2010, was powered down on January 8, 2018. It can be reactivated if one of NOAA’s other operational or backup satellites experiences trouble.
“GOES-13 was a reliable work horse, supplying meteorologists with the crucial imagery and data, which enabled NOAA to provide accurate forecasts and warnings of storms, many of which are in the record books,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.
A previous NOAA geostationary satellite, GOES-14, also deactivated, will remain NOAA’s primary back-up satellite, and can be activated if either GOES-16 or GOES-15, the current GOES-West satellite, experiences technical difficulties.
The next next-generation satellite, NOAA’s GOES-S is scheduled for launch on March 1, and will become the new GOES-West satellite after a checkout and testing phase, which can take up to a year. Forecasters will be able to take advantage of its advanced imagery during that phase-in time. Together, these satellites will enable NOAA to more closely monitor weather systems over North America, South America, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to help protect lives and property.
In addition to the geostationary satellites, NOAA also operates a fleet of polar-orbiting satellites. The first of NOAA’s next-generation polar satellites, NOAA-20, launched November 18, 2017. Both types of satellites form the backbone of NOAA’s increasingly accurate weather forecasts.
Check out some of GOES-13's most powerful and impactful imagery below!