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Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series

Phase: Development

Launch Date: 2016

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The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the next generation of geostationary weather satellites. The advanced spacecraft and instrument technology used on the GOES-R series will result in more timely and accurate forecasts and warnings. It will improve support for the detection and observations of meteorological phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property, and ultimately, economic health and development.

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The GOES-R series is a collaborative development and acquisition effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The GOES-R satellite will provide continuous imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s Western Hemisphere and space weather monitoring. It will be the primary tool for the detection and tracking of hurricanes and severe weather and provide new and improved applications and products for fulfilling NOAA’s goals of Water and Weather, Climate, Commerce, and Ecosystem.

The GOES-R spacecraft will be 3-axis stabilized and designed for 10 years of on-orbit operation preceded by up to 5 years of on-orbit storage. The satellite will be able to operate through periodic station-keeping and momentum adjust maneuvers, which will allow for near-continuous instrument observations.

The GOES-R instrument suite consists of Earth sensing, solar imaging, and space environment measurement payloads. There are six primary instruments: the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI); the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS), which includes an Extreme Ultraviolet Sensor (EUVS), X-Ray Sensor (XRS), EUVS/XRS Electrical Box (EXEB), and Sun Positioning Sensor (SPS); the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM); the Magnetometer (MAG); the Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS), which includes an Energetic Heavy Ion Sensor (EHIS), Magnetospheric Particle Sensor – Low Energy Range (MPS-LO), Magnetospheric Particle Sensor – High Energy Range (MPS-HI), Solar and Galactic Proton Sensor (SPGS), and Data Processing Unit (DPU); and the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI).

The Launch Vehicle that will place GOES-R into geosynchronous orbit will be an Atlas V 541 expendable launch vehicle (ELV). GOES-R will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

GOES-R Features:

  • Imager (ABI): Improved resolution (4x), faster coverage (5x), more bands (3x), and more coverage simultaneously
  • Lightning Detection (GLM): Continuous coverage of total lightning flash rate over land and water
  • Solar/Space Monitoring (SUVI, EXIS, SEISS, MAG): Better Imager (UV over X-Ray) and improved heavy ion detection, adds low energy electrons and protons
  • Unique Payload Services (UPS): Higher data rates for Environmental Data Relay; continued Search and Rescue

GOES-R will help meteorologists observe and predict local weather events, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, flash floods, and other severe weather. In addition, GOES-R will monitor hazards such as aerosols, dust storms, volcanic eruptions, and forest fires and will also be used for space weather, oceanography, climate monitoring, in-situ data collection, and for search and rescue.

The GOES system currently consists of GOES-13 operating as GOES-East in the eastern part of the constellation at 75° west longitude, and GOES-15, operating as GOES-West at 135° west longitude. The GOES-R series will maintain the 2-satellite system implemented by the current GOES series. However, the locations of the operational GOES-R satellites will be 75W and 137W. The latter is a shift from current GOES at 135W in order to eliminate conflicts with other satellite systems. The GOES-R Series operational lifetime extends through December 2027.

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