New technology for GOES-18 weather satellite tested at L3Harris in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – A new weather satellite in the latest series of high-tech satellites for GOES West is being readied for launch with updated technology that has been developed by L3Harris and tested right here in Rochester. Once the satellite is in position, it will provide more weather data and information to many people in the Western Hemisphere, including the United States.

The GOES-T satellite, which will be renamed GOES-18, is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Tuesday, March 1. This satellite is number 3 in a series of 4 advanced geostationary weather satellites associated with the new Advanced Based Imagery (ABI) technology developed by L3Harris which helps meteorologists observe and forecast local day-to-day weather events, such as forest fires and severe thunderstorms.

“What is very exciting with ABI compared to the previous generation of instruments is that it gives us 3 times more spectral information, or 3 times more colors 4 times the spatial resolution, which allows us to zoom in much closer on features.”

Dr. Daniel Gall, Senior Baseline Imager Systems Engineer for L3Harris Technologies, says this satellite underwent extensive environmental testing right here in Rochester to ensure it was suitable for the pressure and temperature changes in the Earth. space.

“The L3Harris facilities in Rochester are really, we really like to call them national landmarks, they are facilities that have been around for a long time and have very advanced capabilities when it comes to environmental testing capabilities…”

To put the amount of data produced by the satellite into perspective, if you wanted to take the full image from the satellite, you would need around 60 4k TVs just to display the full resolution image.

“Being able to put this technology up there to give people better awareness, better forecasting, you know, helping people get away from these dangers is something really important and really rewarding to be able to work on that.”

The new satellite data is expected to be publicly available later this year.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

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