June 15, 2016 – New imagery and data from NOAA’s GOES-R satellite is not only a game-changer for the U.S., but also for the other countries in the Western Hemisphere. Geostationary satellites, like GOES-R, observe Earth from an equatorial view approximately 22,300 miles high, allowing them to see from the coast of West Africa, to Guam, and everything in between. The sharing of information, technology and resources is key in developing a global Earth-observing system.
To prepare other countries for the new data forecasting capabilities the satellite will bring, members of the GOES-R team have visited meteorological and academic institutions in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa to keep forecasters and researchers informed and to ensure they will be able to access GOES-R data. Working with other nations adheres to NOAA’s principle of open data sharing, allowing other countries to benefit from sophisticated GOES-R satellite data that will help save lives and protect communities through more accurate forecasts.
Recently, members of GOES-R leadership visited Puerto Rico to brief the annual World Meteorological Organization (WMO) regional hurricane committee, Mexico to provide training to the Mexican Meteorological Service, and the National Academy of Science of Costa Rica and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. There, they talked about products relevant to Central America and the Caribbean as well as the ways meteorologists in Costa Rica will be able to access GOES-R data, once it becomes available.
International partners also help GOES-R validate data through field campaigns. Under the CHUVA project in Brazil, an international team used the São Paulo Lightning Mapping Array (a total lightning observing network) to generate test data and algorithms to validate GOES-R’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which will be the first lightning mapper to fly in geostationary orbit.
GOES-R will launch later this year on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle from Florida. Once launched and in its geostationary orbit, GOES-R will be known as GOES-16. The satellite will undergo an extended checkout and validation phase of approximately one year and then transition into operations.
GOES-R will be the first satellite in a series of next generation geostationary satellites, which will include GOES-S, T, and U. These satellites will provide significant enhancements for weather forecasters at the National Weather Service. GOES-R will have the capability to monitor multiple weather events and provide real-time weather forecast information to the NOAA’s National Weather Service. Improved instrument technology on GOES-R includes more visible and infrared channels, four times the imaging resolution, and a brand new lightning detection capability.
GOES-R is being developed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. In addition to the spacecraft, Lockheed Martin was chosen by NASA to design the Magnetometer, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, and the new Solar Ultra-Violet Imager.
Since 1975, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) have provided continuous imagery and data on atmospheric conditions and solar activity. They have even aided in search and rescue of people in distress. GOES data products have led to more accurate and timely weather forecasts and better understanding of long-term climate conditions. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) builds and launches the GOES, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates them.
Learn more about NOAA’s international collaborations here.