New geostationary satellite put into operation

(ORDO NEWS) — NOAA’s operational satellite fleet has a new member. GOES-18, which received the designation GOES West, entered service on January 4, 2023.

GOES-18, which was launched last March, is the replacement for GOES-17. GOES-18 will serve as NOAA’s primary geostationary satellite to detect and monitor Pacific hurricanes, coastal fogs, wildfires, volcanic eruptions and other environmental events that affect the Western United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and Central America.

The satellite provides visible and infrared imaging, atmospheric measurements and real-time display of lightning activity.

It is ideally located for observing the Pacific Northeast, where many of the weather events that affect the continental United States originate. GOES-18 also monitors space weather.

GOES-18 joined GOES-16 in operational service. Together, the two satellites monitor more than half of the globe.

Although GOES-18 has just officially entered service, the satellite has been helping NOAA National Weather Service forecasters for several months now.

Normally, GOES satellites undergo post-launch testing somewhere in the central US, but the early success of GOES-18 allowed NOAA to relocate it to a future location ahead of time.

The satellite began sending images from its new location in June.

Due to a problem with the cooling system of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), some satellite images deteriorated at certain times of the year.

In August, NOAA implemented a unique solution to reduce the loss of some GOES-17 images during these periods.

NOAA provided data from GOES-18 ABI along with GOES-17 lightning mapper and space weather data. This allowed forecasters to use GOES-18 imagery during the height of the Pacific hurricane season.

With GOES-18 now operating as GOES West, GOES-17 will be moved centrally between GOES East and GOES West to serve as a backup for the task force.

The GOES-R series program is a four-satellite mission that includes GOES-R (GOES-16, launched in 2016), GOES-S (GOES-17, launched in 2018), GOES-T (GOES-18) and GOES-U, scheduled to launch in 2024.

The program is a joint effort between NOAA and NASA. NASA builds and launches satellites for NOAA, which manages them and distributes their data to users around the world.

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