United Launch Alliance set to launch GOES S weather satellite


GOES-S, encapsulated in its protective payload fairing, is mated to the Atlas V at SLC-41. Photo credit: NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Looking to join its sibling GOES-16 in providing enhanced weather coverage for the Western Hemisphere, workers at Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) are in the final stages of preparing the latest news Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite spaceship for launch.

The GOES-S satellite was encapsulated in a protective shroud and stacked atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket. Liftoff is currently expected to occur with a two-hour window opening March 1, 2018 at 5:02 p.m. EST (22:02 GMT).

Same, but with a different look

Once in orbit, GOES-S will join its counterpart GOES-16 in providing enhanced weather data to forecasters and climatologists. The satellite, a collaborative project between NOAA and Nasa is based on the Lockheed Martin A2100 satellite bus and is being deployed to augment the current cadre of three active GOES satellites, with another on standby, and will monitor weather in the Western Hemisphere. GOES-S will receive the operational designation of GOES-17 once it reaches its orbital position at 137 degrees west, approximately 22,300 miles (35,888 kilometers) above the equator.

“GOES-S will provide high-resolution imagery of the western United States and eastern Pacific Ocean, complementing our satellite coverage to further improve weather forecasts nationwide,” said Louis W. Uccellini. , Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, in a item with AccuWeather.

Matching its GOES-16 twin, the GOES-S is equipped with the latest weather detection equipment. The Advanced Earth-Oriented Base Imager (ABI) will be able to collect weather images from 16 disparate spectral bands – two in the visible spectrum, four in the near infrared and ten infrared – providing three times as many channels of data as the satellites it replaces.

The instrument, built by Harris Environmental Solutions, is much more advanced than what was found on the previous generation of weather satellites. GOES-S will be able to collect more imagery data than its predecessors, it will be able to do so with 500% faster speed and with quadruple resolution.

“The increased capabilities of the ABI will help save lives and provide new information and better forecasts for severe weather, fog, volcanic ash and many other environmental issues,” said Eric Webster, vice-president. President and CEO of Harris Environmental Solutions, in a Release issued by the company.

Another nadir-facing instrument on GOES-S is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). Designed to monitor lightning discharge – both intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground impact – GLM aims to provide meteorologists with a new severe weather prediction tool.

Scientists have found a link between intensified storms and lightning activity, with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes often preceded by a rapid resumption of electrical activity. GLM will be able to provide this critical data to forecasters, day or night, allowing them to more accurately predict the formation of damaging weather conditions.

In addition to providing Earth weather data, GOES-S will also observe our nearest stellar neighbor with a pair of instruments aimed at the Sun, and another pair will monitor the environment around the spacecraft itself.

The Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and extreme ultraviolet irradiance and X-ray sensors (EXIS) will monitor the Sun for energetic outbursts, such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares, to better predict their impact on Earth.

To complete the satellite’s instrument set, a magnetometer (GAM) and the In-Situ Space Environment Suite (SEISS). Designed to measure the space surrounding the craft, these tools will provide critical data for astronaut safety and satellite operation as well as power utilities on Earth.

From its position at 137 degrees west, GOES-S will provide scientists with data that will enable more reliable forecasts in the western United States. Indeed, weather and wildfire forecasts in the west will benefit from the update, as will the east coast with the launch of GOES-16. Alaska, in particular, will get a major boost in terms of accurate weather data.

GOES-15 – the satellite currently covering the Pacific Northwest – lacks the imagery resolution to provide accurate imagery at high latitudes. GOES-S, however, should be able to provide much more detailed imagery up to the Alaskan North Slope.

Delivering GOES-S to orbit is the reliable Atlas V. Arranged in the mighty 541 configuration – a 5-meter payload fairing, 4 solid rocket motors and a single-engine Centaur stage – this variant of the Atlas V can carry nearly 18,300 pounds (8,300 kilograms) to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), more than enough to handle the fully-powered 11,446-pound (5,192 kilogram) GOES-S.

Video courtesy of NOAA

Tagged: Atlas V Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Lead Stories United Launch Alliance

Curt Godwin

Curt Godwin has been a fan of space exploration for as long as he can remember, keeping his eyes on the sky from an early age. Initially majoring in nuclear engineering, Curt later decided that computers would be a more interesting – and safer – career field. He has worked in the field of education technology for over 20 years and has been published in industry and peer-reviewed journals, and is a respected authority on wireless network engineering. Throughout this period of his life, he maintained his love for all things space and wrote about his experiences at various NASA events, both on his personal blog and as an Independent Representative. medias.


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