Thursday, 13 February 2003
Report on NOAA's GOES satellite program
NOAA’s GOES program maintains operational satellites at two longitudes over the equator. At this time, GOES-10 is the operational GOES-WEST satellite at 135 degrees West and GOES-8, now more than three years beyond its five-year design life, is GOES-EAST at 75 degrees west. GOES-12, launched in July 2001, is the primary on-orbit spare and carries the first operational Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) instrument. GOSE-11, launched in May 2000, is the backup on-orbit spare and GOES-9, launched in May 1995, is an emergency spare. Space Systems/Loral manufactured these five satellites with Imager and Sounder instruments provided by ITT and the SXI, built by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. All were launched on Atlas launch vehicles. The next satellite, the first of the GOES-N series, is being constructed by Boeing Space Systems and is to be ready for launch in 2004. Instrumentation will be similar to those on GOES 8 through 12. Planning for the follow-on satellites, the GOES-R series, has been underway for more than two years, with concept studies ending in early 2003. GOES-R is to be ready for launch on the 2012 time frame. GOES-R will carry an advanced imager with as many as 12 or more channels, improved resolution, coverage, and repeat look intervals. GOES-R will also have a Hyperspectral Environmental Sensor (HES) with an interferometer-class design capable of making sounding observations with 1500 equivalent channels. HES will be based heavily on prototype technology demonstrations of NASA’s Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS). NASA, the Navy, and NOAA are major partners on the GIFTS project. NOAA will perform all data receipt, calibration, initial data processing, and distribution. This paper will report on current progress as operational civil environmental satellites get better and better, increasing the contribution to the benefit of mankind.