Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Satellite Upgrade: GOES-R --> GOES-16

From an email about the GOES-R satellite preparing for launch this fall...
The links are broken, but you can copy and paste the URL in a new tab or look at archived looped here:


I'm sure many of you are already aware of the details of NOAA's new geostationary satellite, GOES-R, scheduled for launch this Fall.  But in case not, read on.

GOES-R will represent the first significant upgrade in NOAA's geostationary satellite fleet since GOES-8 in the mid 90's.  It will become GOES-16 after launch, and will carry the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), in addition to some space weather instrumentation.  The ABI will have 16 spectral bands, including one visible band with a 500 m footprint at nadir, additional visible bands at 1 km resolution, and IR bands at 2 km resolution.  The satellite will be able to collect data at a much faster rate than current GOES, allowing for 15-min full disk scans, 5 min CONUS scans, and 1-min scans over two ~1000x1000 km movable mesoscale domains.  You've probably seen some of the recent GOES-14 1-min loops; this will be similar, except at 500-m resolution in the VIS instead of 1-km, a factor of four spatial resolution improvement.

GOES-16 will first be placed at 89.5 W longitude for an extended checkout period, and will be moved to either the West (135 W) or East (75 W) position approximately 1 year after launch.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) launched Himawari-8 about 1.5 years ago, and it carries an imager very similar the ABI.  The primary difference is that the ABI has a band near 1.3 micrometers for cirrus detection, while Himawari's AHI has a band in the green portion of the visible spectrum near 0.51 micrometers.  Himawari has allowed us to begin working with the best possible GOES-R proxy data and to get a feel for the amazing imagery we can expect in less than a year.  Below are links for a variety of Himawari animations, including some individual bands and some multispectral products. Big thanks to JMA for providing the data to NOAA.

A 930 mb low in the north Pacific from Dec. 2015 with the Geocolor product (combines daytime true color imagery with a multispectral product at night in which liquid water clouds are red and ice clouds are shades of gray):

There are many more examples on CIRA's Himawari Loop of the Day page:

I've barely touched on the plethora of new products and capabilities that GOES-R will provide.  For more details or send along any questions you might have.

Sorry for the novel,


Daniel T. Lindsey, Ph.D.
Research Meteorologist
NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch - CIRA
Fort Collins, CO  80523

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