New weather satellite sends first images to earth

But the new and improved GOES-R group of satellites will provide the best, high-resolution views of Earth to date, allowing for more accurate weather forecasts and storm prediction capabilities, according to NOAA.

This is such an exciting day for NOAA! GOES-16 will be able to provide a new full image of the Western Hemisphere from its orbit 22,300 miles above the earth every 15 minutes. That allows it to produce pictures of the continental US every five minutes, and full-disk views every 15 minutes. The image resolutions are four times larger than existing GOES spacecraft.

GOES 16 was called GOES R prior to its launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Nov. 19, 2016.

"These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth", Volz said.

Here is an example of what GOES-16's predecessors now give us, in 4-kilometre and 1-km resolution.

The satellite is still being tested and calibrated and won't enter full-time service in the GOES weather satellite fleet until November. "The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing lifesaving forecasts".

One of the first images sent to Earth from the GOES-16 satellite
One of the first images sent to Earth from the GOES-16 satellite

See complete high-resolution images, released Monday, here.

On the right, an image from GOES-13 and on the left, the first public image from GOES-16, both taken January 15.

With the ABI cameras, the north-south mirror's field-of-view is 60 times bigger than possible with the imager on NOAA's current GOES satellites, according to Paul Griffith, chief engineer for the ABI instruments at Harris.

The instruments can also simultaneously capture wide-angle views of the entire disk of Earth while scanning across localized regions.

This satellite is expected to become operational sometime this fall. The GOES-S satellite will be moved into the other operational position as GOES-17 immediately after launch and initial checkout of the satellite, approximately nine months after GOES-16.

NOAA plans to launch a almost identical satellite, called GOES-S or GOES-17, in the spring of 2018 to replace its other older spacecraft.

  • Joe Gonzales