GOES-N and GOES-O, the first two satellites for the GOES N series, are being integrated and tested, with GOES-N thermal vacuum testing planned for the end of 2002. GOES-N is to be ready for launch in early 2004. Imager and Sounder instruments for the GOES-N series will have the capability to take meaningful data through eclipses.
Work has progressed to define the mission for the GOES-R series, with a launch readiness date in the 2012 time frame. GOES-R will have an Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) with better resolution and up to 12 channels. GOES-R will also host an advanced sounder called the Hyperspectral Environmental Sensor (HES). HES is an interferometer-class instrument strongly based 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.
The GOES-R series will have significantly higher data rates that will necessitate some level of data compression. Current satellite have a data rate of 2.6 megabits per second (mbs) for raw data and 2.1 mbs for processed data. The12 channel Imager scanning faster and with higher resolution, will produce data rates of about 24 mbs for raw data and 8 mbs for processed data. The hyperspectral HES, will produce about 64 mbs for raw data. Progress in data compression will be reported along with options for distributing processed data.