Denver, Colorado. September 19, 2014 – A team of technicians and engineers at Lockheed Martin has successfully mated together the large system and propulsion modules of the first GOES-R series weather satellite at the company’s Space Systems facilities near Denver, Colorado. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R) is NOAA’s next-generation geostationary weather satellite system.
The system module of the A2100-based satellite houses more than 70 electronics boxes that comprise the three major electrical subsystems; command and data handling, communication, and electrical power. The propulsion core contains the integrated propulsion system and serves as the structural backbone of the satellite. The propulsion subsystem is essential for maneuvering the GOES-R satellite during transfer orbit to its final location, as well as conducting on-orbit repositioning maneuvers throughout its mission life.
“Positioning these large modules together in such a precise manor is a challenging task,” said Tim Gasparrini, vice president and program manager for GOES-R at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “Our team spent many hours modeling and analyzing the procedure in our virtual virtually reality lab called the CHIL before tackling the mate in the cleanroom. This was a critical step in the integration of GOES-R and the team did an outstanding job.”
With the core spacecraft completed, the team will begin installing the six weather and solar-monitoring instruments onto the satellite. Functional testing and environmental testing phases of the program will follow this fall. GOES-R is scheduled to be launched in early 2016.
Lockheed Martin is designing and building the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument. Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics is responsible for the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI).
The satellite’s instrument suite will be used to observe the sun and space weather including coronal mass ejections, solar flares and ion fluxes that can disrupt power grids, communication and navigation systems and create radiation hazards.
Data from NOAA’s GOES satellites provides accurate real-time weather forecasts and early warning products to NOAA’s National Weather Service and other public and private sectors. The GOES-R Series will be more advanced than NOAA’s current GOES fleet. The satellites are expected to more than double the clarity of today’s GOES imagery and provide enhanced atmospheric observations with more frequent images.
The advanced spacecraft and instrument technology on the GOES-R series will vastly improve the detection and observation of severe storms and hurricanes, space weather prediction, ecosystems management, commerce, and transportation. The enhanced data from GOES-R will directly affect public safety and protection of property.
The NOAA Satellite and Information Service funds, manages, and will operate the GOES-R series satellites. NASA oversees the acquisition and development of the GOES-R spacecraft and instruments for NOAA. The program is co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.