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NOAA Targets January 2019 to Declare GOES-17 Operational

December 6, 2018

A recent software error on the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager will delay the satellite from becoming operational until early 2019.

Image of the earth

On Nov. 13, 2018, at 4 p.m. ET, GOES-17 captured this GeoColor view of the Earth from its new orbital positionover the Pacific Ocean.

On November 20, 2018, technicians observed an error from NOAA’s GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) – unrelated to the ongoing issues with the loop heat pipe – that resulted in degraded infrared imagery.

The technicians determined that a recent update to software that controls the ABI cryocooler system (which pumps heat away from the instrument’s detectors to cool them to their required operating temperatures) caused a memory error. Automated safety checks onboard detected the error and initiated shutdown of the cryocooler, according to procedure.

The cryocooler operation is restored now, with no additional degraded imagery as a result of the error.

Engineers are testing a permanent software solution that should conclude in January 2019. Once the fix is confirmed, NOAA will declare GOES-17 the new GOES West satellite.