A lot has changed since the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite program launched back in 1975. We carry the weather in our pockets, for one thing.
A NASA/NOAA partnership promises to save lives with the technology integrated into its next-generation weather-predicting satellite GOES-R. The satellite is scheduled to launch Saturday.
“We launched GOES-A before you had the weather in your pocket on your phone, before you could see where that front is right now,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in a media briefing Friday.
“GOES-R delivers on that. It’s a weather satellite for the next generation, for now that we have the weather in our pockets.”
Meteorologists will have the ability to watch weather patterns almost in real-time.
“What will happen, the moment we have this data, amazing researchers around the world, some on their own computers at home, will pick up those data from NOAA, they will pick up that data and learn more about making predictions and more about how nature works, and provide value.”
GOES-R will have four times the resolution of the GOES-15 satellite currently in orbit, according to Mike Stringer of the NOAA, assistant program director for the GOES program.
“It has three times more channels,” Stringer said of GOES-R. “With the current series, we have five channels. With this one, we’ll have 16. It allows us to see the clouds differently, dust, volcanic ash, so we can predict and track what’s going on with that.”
Stringer recalled the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano back in 2010. During that eruption, volcanic ash caused significant disruptions for airlines flying in the path of the ash and smoke.
“Now we’ll be able to see more detail where that ash is and reduce the restricted air space,” he noted.
GOES-R will also be five times faster than the current satellite, allowing the National Weather Service to process data in real-time.
Ed Grigsby of NASA, the deputy assistant director of the GOES-R program, said NASA has a rich history of making science vision a reality.
“You’re going to see a launch tomorrow that’s going to save lives in the future,” he said.
The GOES-R satellite is scheduled to launch at 5:42 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense