Science AMA Series: We are NOAA scientist Dr. Steve Goodman and Andrea Schumacher and we are excited to talk to you about NOAA’s state-of-the-art GOES-R satellite, launching November 4, 2016, which will help us predict and track hurricanes better than ever. Ask us anything!

Abstract

Hi redditors! We are Steve Goodman and Andrea Schumacher and we are excited to talk to you about NOAA’s GOES-R, a state-of-the art satellite set to launch November 4, 2016 that will transform hurricane prediction for North America.

Steve, GOES-R’s Senior Scientist, will tell you all about the advanced instruments aboard GOES-R, like the Advanced Baseline Imager, which collects high-resolution data faster than ever before, and the first ever Geostationary Lightning Mapper, a revolutionary new instrument that will measure lightning over the Americas and its oceans (lightning is an important indicator of where and when a storm is likely to intensify). As the senior program scientist for the GOES-R Program, Dr. Goodman serves as the primary science authority for the GOES-R satellite series.

Andrea Schumacher, CIRA Research Associate and GOES-R/JPSS Satellite Liaison to the National Hurricane Center, will tell you about how hurricanes work and how scientists and forecasters will be using GOES-R data to predict and track these destructive and fascinating phenomena. As the GOES-R Satellite Liaison to the National Hurricane Center, Andrea assists in the evaluation of new GOES-R satellite technologies so forecasters are ready to use these new capabilities as soon as GOES-R launches.

You can learn more about the GOES-R satellite series and see the countdown to launch here.

We’ll be here from 1:00 pm EDT to 3:00pm EDT (10 am PT, 6 pm UTC) today answering your questions about NOAA’s state-of-the-art GOES-R satellite and its impact on hurricane forecasting…Ask us anything!

What feature did NOT make it onto the hardware platform that you really would have liked? There are always trade offs, so you can't have everything, but where do you draw the line?

intronert

Great question! A Hyperspectral Infrared Sounder in geostationary orbit could provide continuous high spatial and temporal resolution atmospheric profiles of temperature and humidity. These data are of key importance in initializing numerical weather forecast models, where the balloon data are augmented by sounders and other information from low earth-orbiting satellites.

Substitute products for legacy sounder products can be generated from Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) data, which has three infrared spectral bands that provide moisture at three layers in the atmosphere (compared to only the one moisture channel in the current GOES). In conjunction with information from short-term numerical model forecasts, the enhanced temporal and spatial resolution of ABI will provide geostationary soundings on par with today’s GOES sounder.

-Steve


Hi, thanks for being here! Can you tell us a bit more about the lightning mapper? How does it work? What proportion of lightning do you expect to be visible from the satelite and are there specific kinds of lightning that are indicative of greater hurricane risk?

p1percub

The GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is a total lightning optical detector of in-cloud lightning and also lightning that strikes the earth, which we also call cloud-to-ground lightning. Ground-based lightning network data that you might see on TV use a network of radio receivers to locate the lightning. The lightning mapper is an optical instrument most correctly described as a transient event detector, rather than an imager as you might think of a camera taking pictures very, very quickly. The instrument processes 1 million pixels every 2 milliseconds, and does a frame-to-frame subtraction of the background at each pixel to identify lightning. If the current signal exceeds the background pixel amplitude level by a certain amount, the pixel is flagged as a lightning event. We use spatial (8 km pixel), temporal (2 millisecond sampling rate), and spectral filtering (we use the OI (1) oxygen emission line triple centered at 7774 nm) to detect the lightning optical pulse against the sunlit cloud top. Lastly, we do the frame-to-frame background subtraction mentioned above. The instrument processes all these data at 20 MHz and transmits all the detected data (lightning plus false non-lightning events) to the ground at 7.7 MB/sec. On the ground there are data processing algorithms to convert the detected signal to a geophysical radiance, geolocate, and assign attributes for each pixel. These pixels are further clustered in space and time to create “lightning flashes.” Thus, the final product that streams to users is a lightning flash with information on the radiance, latitude, longitude, and time. We cannot uniquely discriminate flash type- in-cloud or cloud-to-ground - on an individual flash basis; however, studies have shown that an increase in total lightning activity dominated by the in-cloud component is often a precursor to severe weather on the ground (tornado, wind, hail).

-Steve


Any chance you would name one of the satellites Goes-R the Goes-R-ian?

WaxStatue

Probably not. While is sounds like the satellite was named after a god from another dimension, I can assure you GOES-R will not be possessing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man anytime soon!

The name has to do more with its position in the GOES series of satellites. Before launch, NOAA assigns a letter to GOES satellites (-A, -B, -C…) and a number once it has achieved orbit. For example, GOES-O, once in orbit, was designated GOES-14, GOES-G, which was lost at launch, was never assigned a number. GOES-R follows the GOES-NOP (Q was cancelled) series and will be known as GOES-16 once operational.

-Steve


Hi there, I am a certified storm spotter and run a severe weather alert page on Facebook with over 5000 followers. I am just curious, after all the upgrades to the models over the past few years, which models do you two prefer for hurricane prediction and how much will this satellite data help those models perform with the new data? Or if you'd rather not single out any specific models due to the increasing amount of politics involved in meteorology, HOW will this satellite improve the models, basically are we getting more or better data, or data we never have had in the past?

AnalogHumanSentient

I may hedge a little on saying which models I prefer because I’m a researcher, not an operational forecaster. But I can answer that second part. Improved GOES-R capabilities will allow for the generation of more accurate and frequent Derived Motion Wind estimates, or DMWs. Preliminary research has shown that these improved wind vectors have the potential to improve both track and intensity model predictions when they are assimilated into numerical models.

-Andrea


What causes the rotation of clouds that give hurricanes a spiral appearance?

SomeGuy9905

Thank you for your question! This is due to the Coriolis force which is a direct result of the Earth’s rotation. Hurricanes have a low pressure center, and as the winds blow inwards from high to low pressure the Coriolis force causes them to turn towards the right in the Northern Hemisphere. This leads to counterclockwise rotation and the spiral pattern you see in the clouds. In the Southern Hemisphere the opposite is true - the Coriolis force causes winds to veer toward the left and clockwise rotation. This is a great resource for additional information about tropical cyclones that may be of interest: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqHED.html

-Andrea


Hi, thanks for answering our questions!

While I think I understand how the satellite can help predict trajectory of a storm, I'm confused by how the satellite can help you predict the magnitude of a storm?

kiwijungle

Hi, Kiwijungle! The GOES-R Hurricane Intensity Estimation (HIE) product will produce real-time estimates of hurricane central pressure and maximum sustained winds from imagery from the satellite’s Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument that will be used by forecasters at the National Hurricane Center to help assess hurricane intensity. The HIE product will generate hurricane intensity estimates by analyzing hurricane cloud patterns using imagery from the 10.35μm infrared channel on the ABI. The higher spatial resolution available from the ABI will provide greater accuracy of feature attributes, allowing for better characterization of small hurricane eyes.

Data from the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will also contribute to hurricane intensity forecasts. Research has shown that increases total lightning activity can be a predictor of impending severe weather. GLM will be the first operational lightning mapper flown in geostationary orbit. GLM will map total lightning (in-cloud and cloud-to-ground) continuously over the Americas and adjacent ocean regions. Data from GLM will inform forecasters about changes in lightning activity in the eyewall and rainbands of tropical cyclones, which can be used as an indication of intensity changes, especially rapid intensification.

-Andrea


Can you please talk about the cloudmask product that will be available? What time resolution will be available? What sort of modeling is done to produce the cloudmask product?

Thanks!

metaobject

For many of the other products, it is important to determine which portions of the sky have clouds and which do not. The Clear Sky Mask product provides the location of the cloud free vertical columns of the atmosphere. While the official product is the Clear Sky Mask, the location of clouds is also important. The Clear Sky Mask identifies every pixel as clear or not clear and uses 9 out of the 16 ABI spectral bands. Its cloud detection is based on spectral, spatial, and temporal signatures. Most thresholds were derived from analysis of space-borne Lidar and current geostationary imager data. For additional information please see http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/goesr/product_cp_clearskymask.php.

-Steve


First off, as a meteorology student, thank you for coming on! Will GOES-R have improvements in satellite soundings compared to the other GOES satellites? Also, will it feature 1 minute imagery at all times? When the one minute imagery was being used this spring, it helped tremendously with forecasting severe weather. Thank you!

JasonWX

In lieu of a sounder, GOES-R will use Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) data which has three infrared spectral bands that provide moisture at three layers in the atmosphere (compared to only the one moisture channel in the current GOES). In conjunction with information from short-term numerical model forecasts, the enhanced temporal and spatial resolution of ABI will provide geostationary soundings on par with today’s GOES sounder.

As far as coverage, GOES-R will be able to concurrently take a full disk image every 15 minutes, an image of the continental U.S. every five minutes, and smaller, more detailed images of 1000 km x 1000 km areas where storm activity is present, as often as every 30 seconds for one area or two widely separated areas every minute (ping pong between the two areas). Even better than than the GOES one-minute imagery you used this spring!

-Steve


Will it increase the accuracy of direction, strength, and timetable for hurricane? For a longer answer with a shorter question, how does it improve the above things?

22flyer

Yes, we certainly believe so! The increased temporal resolution will provide forecasters with animations that can help with the tracking of weak and disorganized tropical storms. The improved spatial resolution of GOES-R will also allow forecasters to pinpoint the time of eye formation for storms with smaller-than-average eyes, which can provide critical information about short-term intensification. Yet another advantage of GOES-R’s advanced capabilities is that better data will be available for input into numerical models, potentially improving the quality of model guidance available to hurricane forecasters.

-Andrea


Thanks for taking questions here. Is there any band or sensor of the imagery that could be possibly used for air pollution monitoring on land surface (e.g. aerosol)?

lbcusb

For routine detection and quantitative retrieval of aerosol amounts, the challenge is to separate the aerosols from clouds and bright surfaces. The GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument does this by using measurements at different channels from the visible to thermal infrared. The 2.1 μm channel is transparent to most aerosols and will be used to obtain surface contribution to the satellite observed radiances over dark vegetated surfaces. A suite of infrared channels is used to detect clouds. Quantitative information on the presence of aerosols can be obtained using brightness temperature difference between the 11μm and 12μm bands of the ABI.

The GOES-R Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product is a quantitative measure of the atmospheric loading in a vertical column from the top of the atmosphere to Earth’s surface. By measuring AOD from the ABI, one can obtain information on surface aerosol concentrations to be used in air quality monitoring and forecasting applications. The Aerosol Detection product is qualitative; it indicates the presence of aerosol in a given pixel and can be used to quickly identify the location of dust and smoke plumes.

-Steve


Hi, Steve and Andrea -- thanks for being here! Other than the lightning mapper, which instrument on the new satellite do you think is the coolest/most innovative from a scientific perspective? In other words, which one are you most excited about?

On a related note, as a user of GOES data products, I'm really looking forward to the launch! Thanks for all your hard work!

AllHailTheLunchPail

They are all great (and very important to our mission) but we are going to go with the Advanced Baseline Imager. The ABI is an adaptive imager with two scanning patterns. It can take continuous 5-minute interval full disk images and flexible, successive regional (1000 km x 1000 km) images as quickly as every 30 seconds to 1 minute of rapidly evolving environmental phenomena such as developing severe storms, fires, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones/hurricanes, concurrently with 15 min full disk and 5 min continental U.S. imagery.

-Steve and Andrea


Hi there, thanks for doing this AMA! Will this new lightning technology make it easier for the public to obtain raw lightning data? As far as I know almost all lightning data is held by private companies at this point. During my senior paper in my MET undergrad I needed some data and it was quite difficult to come by. Thanks!

TacoFlacaFlame

Hi, TacoFlacaFlame.The NOAA GLM data will be freely available. The archived data can be ordered from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction. If you are at a University with UNIDATA access you are in luck. We are working with National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Unidata to develop and install their own ground receiving station, called GOES-R Rebroadcast, or GRB. Then, UNIDATA will be able to provide the GLM data to you at your university.

-Steve


Do you know yet what orbit GOES-R will be placed in when it becomes operational?

heidisamiam

That is a fantastic question heidisamiam!

When GOES-R is launched in November 2016 it will be placed in the 89.5° checkout orbit. It has not yet been determined where GOES-R will be placed in its operational orbit location and the final decision will be based on the health/safety/performance of the GOES constellation.

-Steve


Could you please name the rockets or something ZUU-L and VINZCLOR-THO? That would be appropriate for the primary agents for the arrival of GOES-R.

Moose_Hole

Probably not...While is sounds like the satellite was named after a god from another dimension, I can assure you GOES-R will not be possessing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man anytime soon!

The name has to do more with its position in the GOES series of satellites. Before launch, NOAA assigns a letter to GOES satellites (-A, -B, -C…) and a number once it has achieved orbit. For example, GOES-O, once in orbit, was designated GOES-14, GOES-G, which was lost at launch, was never assigned a number. GOES-R follows the GOES-NOP (Q was cancelled) series and will be known as GOES-16 once operational.

-Steve


Obviously Hurricane Season is only part of a year, so I would like to ask about the broader capacity of the satellite to measure the environment and ask that the answers be contrasted against the current capacities if possible or relevant.

Tintcutter

Good question! GOES-R is the first major technological advance in geostationary observations since 1994. Year round, GOES-R will support short-term forecasts and severe storm watches and warnings, maritime forecasts, seasonal predictions, drought outlooks and space weather predictions. GOES-R will not only improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, but it will increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time, improve aviation flight route planning, provide data for long-term climate variability studies, improve solar flare warnings for communications and navigation disruptions and enhance space weather monitoring.

-Steve and Andrea


How early can you predict hurricanes today?

Kabisi

The National Hurricane Center currently provides hurricane forecasts out to 5 days. Official track and intensity forecast errors increase with forecast length, with the average track errors for a 24-hour forecast being 45 n mi and errors for the 120-hour forecast being 210 n mi. The National Hurricane Center publishes verifications of their forecasts each year on their website if you would like more details on forecast accuracy: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/verification/verify3.shtml

-Andrea


Are there any other benefits to being able to track and predict hurricanes other than the obvious warning-the-public aspect?

Cantstandyaxo

Protecting and warning the public is one of the NOAA National Weather Service’s primary missions, but there are other benefits to being able to track and predict hurricanes. Hurricanes impact travel, shipping routes, and many other elements important to the economy. Knowing information about past and current hurricanes also help us research, understand, and predict future storms.

-Andrea


Ok so, I won't even pretend to understand how it will help predict hurricanes. I'm sure there's some fancy new technology there.

What I don't understand is improvements in tracking hurricanes. Aren't they...relatively big? As in, easily seen from space big? How hard is it to track an object the size of a noteworthy island, minimum?

AkiraZXE

You are absolutely correct - mature hurricanes have wind fields that typically span several hundred miles and are easily seen from space using our current satellite technology. However, the increased temporal (i.e., time) resolution will provide forecasters with a smooth “movie-like” animation that can help with the tracking of weak and disorganized tropical storms and those that are taking a “wobbly” track. The improved spatial resolution of GOES-R will also allow forecasters to pinpoint the time of eye formation for storms with smaller-than-average eyes, which can provide critical information about short-term intensification. Yet another advantage of GOES-R’s advanced capabilities is that better data will be available for input into numerical models, potentially improving the quality of model guidance available to hurricane forecasters.

-Andrea


Would you mind giving us the stats for the Advanced Baseline Imager? How many bands, and do they all have the same resolution?

Valdrax

The ABI will have 16 spectral bands. The 0.64 µm visible spatial resolution is 0.5km, other visible/near-IR bands have a spatial resolution of 1km, and bands greater than 2 µm have a spatial resolution of 2km.

The ABI will provide three times more spectral information, four times the spatial resolution, and more than five times faster temporal coverage than the current GOES system.

-Steve


This might be a Dumb question, so ignore if needed.....here goes:

What else can it be used for or what other applications can the collected data be used for, besides tracking hurricanes??

Cynaren

Great question! GOES-R will provide critical atmospheric, hydrologic, oceanic, climatic, solar and space data. In addition to improved hurricane tracking and intensity estimates, GOES-R will also provide:

-Increased thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time -Earlier warning of ground lightning strike hazards -Improved aviation flight route planning -Improved air quality warnings and alerts -Better monitor areas of smoke and dust, which can be a critical factor in visibility -Better fire detection and intensity estimation -Better detection of heavy rainfall and flash flooding risks -Improved drought outlooks -Improved transportation safety -Improved maritime forecasts -Improved solar flare warnings for communications and navigation disruptions -More accurate monitoring of energetic particles responsible for radiation hazards to humans and spacecraft -Better monitoring of space weather to improve geomagnetic storm forecasting -Improved detection of coronal holes, solar flares and coronal mass ejection source regions -Improved power blackout forecasts -Increased dynamic range, resolution, and sensitivity in monitoring solar x-ray flux -Enhanced detection of weaker emergency beacon signals for improved search and rescue operations -Improved data for long-term climate variability studies

-Steve


Hi, thanks for doing an AMA!
Fellow remote senser here, I am interested in knowing if the satellite images will be available to the public? I love getting my hands on data
Additionally, another redditor mentioned that the spatial resolution is 1km, as that's broad, will the data be captured globally or limited specifically in the US?

YetiPie

There are a few different ways the data will be available to the public. You will be able to order data from NOAA’s archive, view the imagery in near real-time on NOAA web pages, subscribe to a commercial data provider, or purchase your own ground reception station. Also, the TV broadcasters will show the data on TV.

-Steve


Hi there, grad student in Atmospheric Sciences here! My question is more about hurricane dynamics. So I understand the importance of the lightning mapper on the satellite as semi recent studies have shown a statistically significant link between peak lightning intensity and peak wind in hurricanes. However, the two were most positively correlated with a 30 hour lag time added to the peak of the lightning. Why is there such a large lag time between the two? Wouldnt a peak in lightning correlate quite highly with a peak in instability, and thus a peak in hurricane intensification? Thanks for any information!

nathancurtis11

Great question! You might expect a lag between the time of peak lightning intensity associated with a deep convective burst and the time of peak winds because it takes some time for the larger-scale hurricane vortex to respond to the latent heating and vortex stretching association with the convection. However, the relationship between lightning and tropical cyclone intensity change is still an active area of research and appears to be more complicated than one might think. While some recent work has shown a positive correlation between inner core lightning activity and tropical cyclone intensification, other studies have shown that relationship to be negative. If this is a topic you’re interested in studying further, I’d be happy to send you some references if you send me a message on the NOAA Satellites Facebook page.

-Andrea


So, like, you launch it, and it goes, "R"? Don't you mean like, "Arrrg?" So it's like, a pirate satellite? Like pirate radio?

It's OK - I'm an engineer with actual US patents - you can trust me.

ValkriM8B

Actually, once the satellite is launched and becomes operational, it will be known as GOES-16… maybe not quite as fun to say!

-Steve


Being a native of New Orleans, I have always wondered how Nash Roberts was such a great predictor of hurricanes without all of the new technologies that have improved over the years.

He seemed to be very consistent and had very little margin of error in his predictions. What was he doing that we now hope to do with this more advanced technology or how will we do it better?

Glaswell

Nash had an amazing career in our industry with an expertise based on many years in the field. I can only imagine what he would be able to do with the technological enhancements that have emerged in recent years!

-Andrea


Hi, cool stuff! It sounds like complex predictive modelling with many factors to consider. Is it? If yes, do you apply chaos theory or some other mathematical models? Also, is it similar to other complex predictive models in different and may be unrelated fields (like how school of fish swim or bees swarm or whatnot). If it's not complex, how come? Are there a couple of dominant predictors that power the model? Thanks in advance for answering. Cheerio!

IvyBellTali

The mathematical models used by NOAA solve the Navier-Stokes equation of motion and also include formulas for cloud physics, aerosols, radiation, interactions with land, ice, and ocean, often using coupled models with the atmosphere that interact with one another. These models assimilate satellite and other data to produce an objective analysis of the initial conditions at each forecast cycle. The latest method in operational Numerical Weather Prediction these days is the use of ensemble forecast models which are models of models each having different physics- say many tens of models that give a dispersion or spread of answers, which perhaps is one version of what you are describing. Check out the experimental ten member ensemble at http://ensemble.ucar.edu. It gives probabilistic guidance on different type of severe weather, which is also a direction the weather services are going. The developer of this model hopes to assimilate GOES-R and GLM lightning data into this type of model.

-Steve


Will there be a cluster of these to track storms over the entire globe or mostly tracking the continental US?

Amazing project! Thanks for what you do.

DeepRoast

Our satellites operate as a two satellite system, GOES-East and GOES-West, which observe Earth from an equatorial view approximately 22,300 miles high, allowing them to see from the coast of West Africa, to Guam, and everything in between. We also operate a central back-up satellite that can be used if-needed to support the constellation. That said, NOAA works with our partners around the globe who operate a ring of geostationary satellites that provide a global perspective of weather from this orbit.

-Steve


What is the expected month/year for GOES-R to be operationally available for the NHC (and all others) to use the data?

kevincburns

GOES-R still has a long journey ahead. When GOES-R is launched in November 2016 it will be placed in the 89.5° checkout orbit for a post-launch checkout phase of six months. It’s important to make sure the satellite is working as expected before it becomes operational. After several months of extended validation, the satellite will be fully operational and data will be available for use, just in time for the 2017 hurricane season.

-Andrea and Steve


This may be a slightly more esoteric use for your satellite but I wanted to thank you all on behalf of surfers everywhere for the tremendous work NOAA does, especially as it relates to hurricane tracking in the East Pacific.

NOAA data and images are my go to resource for forecasting and analyzing storms and their potential to create significant wave heights impacting central and southern California.

My question is how does or could NOAA use the passion of the surf community to generate interest and public appreciation for meteorology? Any interesting tools or models being developed specifically for surfers?

Cahvus

Cahvus, check out your local NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO), those with coastal marine responsibility might most be helpful!

-Steve


Is this meant to replace the TRMM that was recently decommissioned?

corngarden

The GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) extends the TRMM 17-year lightning climatology for the next 20 years, thus producing a climate data set of thunderstorms and lightning for the western hemisphere. With other operational space agencies also planning lightning mappers the global distribution of thunderstorms and lightning will continue.

Factoid-The TRMM Lightning Imager design is actually based on the original NASA concept for a two-telescope GOES-M Geostationary Lightning Mapper in the 1980s, but which did not make it to as far as an instrument build. We repurposed the concept as a single telescope instrument for the NASA Earth Observing System and this is what became the Lightning Imaging Sensor on TRMM.

-Steve


Congratulations! I can't imagine your excitement to be part of something so awesome! I understand that most of our climate satellites are ending soon. Not to detract from this one at all, which are the most important satellites to be supported next? Thank you! And I cheer you on!

jo_annev

Actually, GOES-R will contribute to climate science too. It’s an environmental satellite, not just a weather satellite, with an on-board calibration reference for the solar channels as with the NASA MODIS satellite. Therefore, GOES-R ABI extends the climate data set of the western hemisphere for the next 20 years. Since other operational space agencies will fly similar next generation 16 spectral channel imagers with higher spatial and temporal resolution, the time series of satellite products will continue well into the next two decades. Also, the GLM lightning imager is similar to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Lightning Imaging Sensor (see http://thunder.msfc.nasa.gov). Some also plan to fly lightning mappers on their next geostationary satellite series so we will have nearly global coverage to extend the 17 year global climatology from the TRMM research mission.

-Steve


Hi there Steve and Andrea, thanks for doing this AMA. Do you know yet wether GOES-R will be placed in the East or West position after the checkout phase? Or is that officially TBD?

wxmeddler

When GOES-R is launched in November 2016 it will be placed in the 89.5° checkout orbit for a checkout and validation phase of approximately one year. It has not yet been determined where GOES-R will be placed in its operational orbit location and the final decision will be based on the health/safety/performance of the GOES constellation.


Just in time for the end of hurricane season. Will it also monitor typhoons?

AthiestLibNinja

Possibly. The dividing line between the regions where we call strong tropical cyclones “hurricanes” (Atlantic, N.E. Pacific, and Central Pacific) and “typhoons” (N.W. Pacific) is at 180 W. It has not yet been determined with GOES-R will be placed in the GOES-East (75 W) or GOES-West (137 W) position, but even if it’s in the west position it will likely not be able to see very far into the N.W. Pacific. Luckily, the N.W. Pacific already has an imager that is very similar to the the GOES-R ABI called the Advanced Himawari Imager that covers the N.W. Pacific basin. You can find more information and some really cool images on the Meteorological Satellite Center of the Japanese Meteorological Agency website: http://www.jma-net.go.jp/msc/en/.

-Andrea


Where will raw data access be stored? Is it available in the traditional GRIB formats? Are you considering more developer-friendly data access such as API based?

netw1z

The GOES-R data and products will be available in netCDF format in the Comprehensive Large Array Steward System (CLASS) at the National Centers for Environmental Information.

-Steve


How do you expect this project to make a significant difference for everyday people on the ground?

aquadc

Hi aquadc, this satellite is a game-changer for weather forecasting. GOES-R will offer 3x more data with 4x greater resolution, 5x faster than ever before. This means faster and more accurate data for the National Weather Service. More accurate and faster data means that when a hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf, NOAA’s GOES-R satellite will generate imagery that is like watching a movie of a storm in near real-time. And when severe weather is imminent, GOES-R could mean extra time to seek shelter during a tornado, or more time to get cars off the road when flash floods occur, and extra seconds to get kids inside when lightning strikes. NOAA’s GOES-R is revolutionary, and will enable our meteorologists to issue critical and timely forecasts that help save lives and protect communities.

-Andrea


How much did the satellite cost to build?

ch0bbyhoboman

The total lifecycle budget is $10.83B. That includes the entire life of the development and operation of the four satellites in the series, which spans more than 30 years, from 2005 to 2036. This also includes all instruments, ground segment work, antenna systems, the construction of a remote back-up satellite data facility in West Virginia, new construction to the primary satellite station in Wallops Island, Va. and upgrades to the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Maryland. This budget is also used to fund the Environmental Satellite Processing and Distribution System (ESPDS) and a Comprehensive Large-Array Stewardship System (CLASS) to process and archive GOES-R data and ultimately make it available to end user.

-Steve


Hello,

I'm an aviation meteorologist. We nowcast turbulence worldwide and often use satellite data to spot cloud features that are indicative of turbulence. As global forecasters, we often have issues in South America when the current GOES satellites are in rapid scan mode. Will the GOES-R continue to sacrifice South American data when there's more action in the northern hemisphere?

justcasty

You are in luck! The adaptive scanning pattern of the ABI allows us to collect rapid-scan mesoscale imagery over northern hemisphere/US areas of interest to NWS and concurrently collect 15 min full disk imagery- so no blackouts any more over South America. By the way, the 4x higher spatial resolution of the imager allows us to observe and resolve wave clouds in the cloud and moisture imagery. The ABI sister Himawari imager operated by Japan over the Asia/Oceania region observes wave clouds every day all over the field of view. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has asked to collaborate with our NOAA scientists on the new capabilities that benefit aviation weather safety and efficiency.

-Steve


Additional Assets

License

This article and its reviews are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and redistribution in any medium, provided that the original author and source are credited.