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.