3.4 Imaging from ATS-1 to the GOES-R Series: What has Changed and What has Stayed the Same

Monday, 13 January 2020: 2:45 PM
253B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
T. J. Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Madison, WI; and M. M. Gunshor, W. P. Menzel, J. Phillips, and D. T. Lindsey

The first Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) was launched into geostationary orbit in 1966, followed by ATS-3 in 1967. Images from the Spin Scan Cloud Camera, and the Multi-color Spin Scan Cloud Camera, delivered some of the first animations of clouds from space. In addition, ATS-I and ATS-3 enabled continuous monitoring of many phenomena during the day including convection, fog, hurricanes, smoke, snow, and atmospheric motions. Other phenomena such as fires, surface temperatures, moisture, nighttime volcanic ash plumes, nighttime clouds, and atmospheric waves associated with turbulence could only be observed with subsequent improvements to spatial resolution and spectral coverage. The eventual operational follow on to the early geostationary experiments is the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series, which have included multiple advances through the generations. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the GOES-R series represents approximately two orders-of-magnitude improvements over the previous GOES-series in observing capabilities. The 16 spectral bands on the ABI include the visible, near-infrared and infrared portions of the electro-magnetic spectrum, delivering observations at improved spatial and temporal resolutions. GOES-16 imagery became operational in December 2017 in the East location and GOES-17 became NOAA’s operational West geostationary satellite in February 2019. GOES-R’s ABI 10-min, full disk scan refresh has realized the concept originally proposed for ATS over 50 years ago.
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