Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GOES-R is now GOES-16 and a little about GOES 13 to 15

GOES-R, the first of the latest next generation of NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) achieved geostationary orbit on November 29th at approximately 22,000 miles above the earth. More information may be found in the November 30th article on a GOES-R launch blog from NOAA's Satellite and Information Service. You may find my earlier articles on GOES R here (with links).

I don't know about you, but I have been wondering about the history of GOES and thanks to a reminder from one of my friends at a National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, I found a NOAA webpage with a brief history of GOES.

Each GOES is assigned a letter at launch and once it achieved geostationary orbit it is assigned a number. GOES-16 (aka GOES-R) is the first of what I believe is the sixth generation of GOES. GOES 1 through 12 (representing the first four generations of GOES) have been decommissioned. 

The fifth generation of GOES is GOES N to P, or GOES 13 to 15. For more on the history of GOES, including a brief description of each generation of GOES and a list of their launch dates and decommission dates, see this NOAA webpage on a brief history of GOES. NOAA has a nice FAQ page on GOES, discussing GOES satellites in general as well as GOES-R (GOES-16) that may be found here. If you go to the brief history of GOES and click on "Earth NOW from GOES" you will see images from GOES East and GOES West.

Back to GOES 13 to 15 (N-P).
  • GOES 13 (GOES N) was launched on May 24, 2006 and became operational on April 14, 2010. It is currently operating as GOES East at 75 degrees west longitude. 
  • GOES 14 (GOES O) was launched on June 27, 2009 and is currently located at 105 degrees west longitude in on-orbit storage. It serves as a back-up for either GOES East or GOES West. For example, when GOES 13 was out of service while some technical issues in early 2013 were being corrected, GOES 14 operated as GOES East. 
  • GOES 15 (GOES P) was launched on March 4, 2010, becoming operational on December 6, 2011. GOES 14 is currently operating as GOES West at 135 degrees west longitude. 
You might want to check out the GOES status page, where I found information on GOES 13 to 15.

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