May 11, 2016 – The GOES-16 Post-Launch Assessment Review (PLAR) was successfully completed on May 9. The PLAR is an evaluation of the readiness of the spacecraft systems to proceed with routine operations. An independent review team evaluated the flight and data operations readiness, satellite performance and the readiness to transfer responsibility from the development organization to the operations organization.
GOES-16 is the first satellite in a series of next generation geostationary satellites. These satellites will provide significant enhancements for weather forecasters at NOAA’s National Weather Service. Improved instrument technology on GOES-16 includes more visible and infrared channels, four times the imaging resolution, and a brand new lightning detection capability.
When it’s fully operational, GOES-16 will provide images of weather patterns and severe storms as regularly as every five minutes or as frequently as every 30 seconds. These images can be used to aid in weather forecasts, severe weather outlooks, watches and warnings, lightning conditions, maritime forecasts and aviation forecasts. The satellite will also assist in longer term forecasting, such as seasonal predictions and drought outlooks, and will monitor space weather conditions, including the effects of solar flares, to provide advance notice of potential communication and navigation disruptions.
The satellite launched to Geostationary Orbit on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket on November 19, 2016. The passage of this milestone keeps the program on track for the Handover Readiness Review in June.
GOES-R/GOES-16 is a collaboration between NASA and NOAA. The GOES-R series satellites are being built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. In addition to the spacecraft, Lockheed Martin also provides the Magnetometer, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), and the Solar Ultra-Violet Imager (SUVI). The University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) provides the Extreme ultraviolet/X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS).