2002 Annual

Monday, 14 January 2002: 2:00 PM
NOAA's GOES Satellite Program - Status and Plans
Gerald J. Dittberner, NOAA/NESDIS, Suitland, MD
At this writing (July 3, 2001) NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) constellation consists of GOES-8, which is operational at 75 degrees West; GOES-10, operational at 135 degrees W; GOES-11, as the on-orbit spare satellite near 105 degres W; and GOES-9, as a limited capability on-orbit spare, also near 105 degrees W. GOES-8, launched in April, 1994, continues to operate more than 26 months beyond its five year design life. GOES-M, the next satellite, is planned to be launched in July, 2001 to insure continuity of full, two-GOES coverage and complement the METEOSAT and MSG systems. GOES-M will have the first Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) which will take images of the Sun in four X-ray energy ranges every minute.

GOES-N and GOES-O, the first two satellites for the GOES N series, are being assembled, with GOES-N thermal vacuum testing planned for the end of 2001. GOES-N is to be ready for launch in early 2003. Imager and Sounder instruments for GOES N-Q will have substantially increased capability to take meaningful data through eclipses.

Work has begun to define the mission for the GOES R series, with a launch readiness date in the 2010 time frame. GOES-R will have an Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) with better resolution and up to 12 channels. ABI formulation studies are underway.

In the same time frame, an Advanced Baseline Sounder (ABS) will be flown which is an interferometer-type instrument based almost entirely on NASA’s Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS). NOAA is a major partner along with NASA and the Navy in the GIFTS technology demonstration and demonstration of operational utility. NOAA will be the primary data collection system for GIFTS data when it is launched in 2004-2005 time frame.

Weather forecasters’ use of GOES qualitative and quantitative data continues to increase and is improving many operational forecasts. New applications of quantitative data, now being tested in operational numerical models, are expected to add to the accuracy of model products already using Sounder radiances from GOES-8 and GOES-10. Descriptions will be presented for all these features and other upcoming events.

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