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GOES-S Satellite to Launch in NOAA-NASA Partnership

Image: GOES-S Satellite to Launch in NOAA-NASA Partnership

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-S) satellite sits on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, backdropped by the setting Sun on Feb. 28, 2018. (Chris Giersch/NASA)

By    |   Thursday, 01 Mar 2018 03:17 PM

The GOES-S weather satellite was set to launch Thursday as part of a partnership between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that intends to track wildfires, cyclones, fog and storms.

The satellite, with the full name Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S, will cover the western United States in never-before-seen detail and give more information about storms and weather patterns so they can be forecast better, according to Space.com.

In addition to focusing on the western U.S., the satellite also will cover the eastern Pacific, eastern Australia and New Zealand, and much of South America once it finishes its testing phase and gets to its permanent location later this year, Weather.com reported.

It is the second high-definition satellite used for the purpose of tracking weather over the U.S., with GOES-R having launched in 2016, Weather.com reported. When GOES-S becomes operational, its name will become GOES-17, according to NOAA’s naming practices, Wired reported.

The ability of the satellite to track winds and hot spots of western wildfires is expected to save lives, Weather.com reported. This ability has already been demonstrated by the first GOES satellite with wildfires in the Plains last year.

The satellite will also be able to track atmospheric rivers, which can bring flooding rains and heavy snowfall to western states, Weather.com reported. Fog detection also may improve the ability of airports to decide when to cancel flights and save them money in the process.

A 70 megapixel camera will be able to use 16 spectral channels to detect visible, infrared and near-infrared signals in four times better resolution and at five times the speed of GOES-15, which it will replace, Wired reported. This means that the satellite will be able to simultaneously image the Western hemisphere every 15 minutes and the continental U.S. every five minutes.

The Geostationary Lightning Mapper on the satellite may be able to double the 10 to 15 minute lead time for tornado warnings currently in place today, Wired reported.

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NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched the GOES-S weather satellite Thursday with the aim of tracking wildfires, cyclones, fog and storms.
goes-s, satellite, launch, nasa
Thursday, 01 Mar 2018 03:17 PM
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