GOES-16, the first spacecraft in NOAA’s next-generation of geostationary satellites, has sent the first high-resolution images from its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.
Included among them are a composite colour full-disk visible image of the Western Hemisphere captured on 15 January 2017. Created using several of the ABI’s 16 spectral channels, the full-disk image offers an example the satellite’s advanced technology.
The ABI can provide a full disk image of the Earth every 15 minutes, one of the continental US every five minutes, and has the ability to target regional areas where severe weather, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions or other high-impact environmental phenomena are occurring as often as every 30 seconds. The ABI covers the Earth five-times faster than the current generation GOES imagers and has four times greater spatial resolution, allowing meteorologists to see smaller features of the Earth’s atmosphere and weather systems.
“Seeing these first images from GOES-16 is a foundational moment for the team of scientists and engineers who worked to bring the satellite to launch and are now poised to explore new weather forecasting possibilities with this data and imagery,” says Dr Stephen Volz, NOAA’s assistant administrator for Satellite and Information Services. “The incredibly sharp images are everything we hoped for based on our tests before launch. We look forward to exploiting these new images, along with our partners in the meteorology community, to make the most of this fantastic new satellite.”
“The image is much more than a pretty picture, it is the future of weather observations and forecasting,” says Dr Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “High resolution imagery from GOES-16 will provide sharper and more detailed views of hazardous weather systems and reveal features that previous instruments might have missed, and the rapid-refresh of these images will allow us to monitor and predict the evolution of these systems more accurately.
“As a result, forecasters can issue more accurate, timely, and reliable watches and warnings, and provide better information to emergency managers and other decision makers.”
NASA successfully launched GOES-R on 19 on November 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and it was renamed GOES-16 when it achieved orbit. GOES-16 is now observing the planet from an equatorial view approximately 22 300 miles above the surface of the Earth.
* Pictured: This composite color full-disk visible image of the Western Hemisphere was captured from NOAA GOES-16 satellite at 1:07 pm EST on Jan. 15, 2017 and created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the satellite’s sophisticated Advanced Baseline Imager. The image, taken from 22,300 miles above the surface, shows North and South America and the surrounding oceans.
Credits: NOAA