GOES/NWA Satellite Info

The status of weather satellites has become an increasingly important issue over the past three weeks, and part of the NWA Annual Meeting was dedicated to discussing expectations of future satellite capabilities. Weather satellites have become a major issue because back on September 23 the satellite in charge of monitoring the entire east coast, and the Atlantic, GOES-13, went offline unexpectedly. At this time it is still unclear if the satellite can be repaired.¬†GOES-13 was put into operation back in 2006 and was supposed to last at least a decade.. that doesn’t seem to be a reasonable goal anymore. As we speak, another satellite, GOES-14, is slowly moving toward the position of the inactive GOES-13 satellite in order to take its place and begin retrieving data from the East Coast. This won’t be a quick fix because GOES-14 will take the entire month of October to move to its new location.

That brings us back to the NWA conference and the topic of satellites. With the apparent need for satellite upgrades and maybe even new satellites all together, NOAA’s Satellite Division expressed some futures hopes and expectations for satellite operating capabilities. As of now there are 17 environmental satellites in use. NOAA wants to improve snapshot times by its satellites from once every 20 minutes to once every 5 minutes, and higher that rate to once every 30 seconds in storm events. This decreasing refresh rate would increase data into computer models which would increase the accuracy of forecasts. Faster satellite refresh times would lead meteorologists to have a much better picture of the story on the ground, and help us to better inform you of any incoming threats. -Greg


Posted under event, science, space, technology

This post was written by qni_it on October 9, 2012

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