Marvel at these first pics from a next-gen weather satellite

Jan 24, 2017, 00:28
Marvel at these first pics from a next-gen weather satellite

As we've written before, GOES-R satellite has six instruments, two of which are weather-related.

The pictures from its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument, built by Harris Corporation, show a full-disc view of the Western Hemisphere in high detail - at four times the image resolution of existing GOES spacecraft.

The first images from NOAA's next-generation weather satellite are in and they're absolutely stunning. The ABI-equipped GOES-R series can take the same type of image - with higher resolution and in more wavelengths - at least once every 15 minutes, and images spanning the continental United States every five minutes.

Weather satellites, like GOES-16, are backbone of weather forecast and understanding climate change.

1 km resolution GOES-13 image focusing in on the state of Colorado, Jan 15, 2017. They are implementing ways to maximize the new output from GOES-16. "The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing life-saving forecasts". At that time, it will be maneuvered into position as either GOES-East or GOES-West.

Here are corresponding examples from GOES-16's "first light" images. Practically, this means we'll get a fresh-full-disk view of Earth every 15 minutes, a new view of the continental USA every 5 minutes, and a new view of weather systems (like hurricanes) every 30 seconds. Like earlier GOES satellites, GOES-16 will use the moon for calibration. This augmented capability will be invaluable for forecasters, especially when tracking potentially risky storms.

The satellite is still being tested and calibrated and won't enter full-time service in the GOES weather satellite fleet until November.

That's because this new satellite has all kinds of new "bells and whistles".

GOES-16, formally known as GOES-R, is now orbiting Earth 22,300 miles above its surface. GOES-S will be the next satellite to launch in the series of four and will be renamed GOES-17 before becoming either GOES-East or GOES-West.