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Geostationary Operational Earth Satellite (GOES) (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Geostationary Operational Earth Satellite (GOES) system is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) envionmental satellite program. By 2005, NOAA will have established a fully coordinated national civil operational environmental satellite system which will be the cornerstone of an international system. This cooperative, internationally coordinated, global environmental observation and information management system will provide an efficient and effective means for the continued collecting, processing, and disseminating the environmental data critical for U.S. environmental programs.

(U) The GOES system is a basic element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecast operations and is a key component of NOAA's National Weather Service operations and modernization program. Spacecraft and ground-based systems work together to accomplish the GOES mission of providing weather imagery and quantitative sounding data that form a continuous and reliable stream of environmental information used for weather forecasting and related services.

(U) The new GOES I-M (I thru M series) represents the next generation of meteorological satellites and introduces two new features. The first feature, flexible scan, offers small-scale area imaging that lets meteorologists take pictures of local weather trouble spots. This allows them to improve short-term forecasts over local areas. The second feature, simultaneous and independent imaging and sounding, is designed to allow weather forecasters to use multiple measurements of weather phenomena to increase the accuracy of their forecasts.

Description (U):

(U) Over the past 30 years, environmental service agencies have stated a need for continuous, dependable, timely, and high-quality observations of the Earth and its environment. To meet these needs, NOAA developed the GOES system which is specifically designed to satisfy the following requirements:

(1) Continuous observation of Earth and its atmosphere through infrared (IR) and visible radiometric imaging and atmospheric sounding;
(2) Data collection and relay from small remote terminals;
(3) Space environment data gathering by monitoring energetic particles, solar X-ray flux, and magnetic fields at geosynchronous altitude; and
(4) Transmission of weather facsimile (WEFAX) data. The GOES-I through M satellites have redundant search and rescue (SAR) repeaters that will be used operationally with the search and rescue satellite-aided tracking (SARSAT) program.

(U) The new generation GOES I-M (I thru M series) provides half-hourly observations to fill the need. The instruments on board the satellites measure Earth-emitted and reflected radiation from which atmospheric temperature, winds, moisture, and cloud cover data can be derived.

(U) The GOES I-M series of satellites is a joint effort between NASA and NOAA. NOAA is responsible for providing funding, requirements, and operation of the system in orbit, whereas NASA is responsible for spacecraft procurement, design, and development of the spacecraft, instruments and program unique operational ground equipment, launch vehicle procurement, launch operations, and initial satellite checkout and evaluation in orbit.

(U) Each satellite in the series carries two major instruments: an Imager and a Sounder. These instruments acquire high resolution visible and infrared data, as well as temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere. They continuously transmit these data to ground terminals where the data are processed for rebroadcast to primary weather services, both in the United States and around the world, including the global research community.

(U) The GOES I-M mission is scheduled to run from the mid-1990s into the first decade of the 21st century. Each element of the mission has been designed to meet all in-orbit performance requirements for at least five years. The GOES I-M system serves a region covering the central and eastern Pacific Ocean; North, Central, and South America; and the central and western Atlantic Ocean. Pacific coverage includes Hawaii and the Gulf of Alaska. This is accomplished by two satellites, GOES West located at 135 West longitude and GOES East at 75 West longitude. A common ground station, the CDA station located at Wallops, Virginia, supports the interface to both satellites. The NOAA Satellite Operations Control Center (SOCC), in Suitland, Maryland, provides spacecraft scheduling, health and safety monitoring, and engineering analyses.

(U) The GOES products are produced and delivered by ground processing of the raw instrument data for radiometric calibration and Earth location information, and retransmission to the satellite for relay to the data user community. The processed data are received at the control center and disseminated to the National Weather Service's (NWS) National Meteorological Center, Camp Springs, Maryland, and NWS forecast offices, including the National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida, and the National Severe Storms Forecast Center, Kansas City, Missouri. Processed data are also received by DoD installations, universities, and numerous private commercial users.

(U) GOES System details:
1. Program start date: July 12,1985
2. Number of Spacecraft: Five
3. Launch System: GOES-I and J were launched on an ATLAS-1 launch vehicles as will be GOES K. The GOES-L and -M will be launched on ATLAS-2As.
4. GOES-I and -J were named GOES-8 and GOES-9 respectively on reaching geosynchronous orbit.
5. Orbit: Geostationary position at 75 W (East Coast) and 135 W (West Coast) longitude (35,816 km)
6. Size/Weight (GOES-I through -M): Main Body: Height 1.98 m (78 inches); Width 2.34 m (92 inches); Depth 2.13 m (84 inches)
7. Spacecraft Mass: Deployment Mass 2,105 kg (4,641 lb); Dry Mass 977 kg (2,154 lb); Propellant and pressurant 1,128 kg (2,487 lb)
8. Design Life: 5 years

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational/Programmed.

Images (U):

GOESGeostationary Operational Earth Satellite (GEOS)
GOES-9Geostationary Operational Earth Satellite (GEOS)-9
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U):
AN/SMQ-11AN/SMQ-11 Shipboard Receiving Terminal
Mark IVMark IV
Mark IV-BMark IV-B
NEMSSNational Environmental Monitoring Satellite System (NEMSS)
STTSmall Tactical Terminal
Western RangeWestern Range
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Space SystemsSpace Systems
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

GOES Project Page
GOES Mission Overview
1998 Strategic Master Plan
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):


(U) Service Staff: CNO-N6/N096, Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: SPAWAR, San Diego, CA
(U) Program Management: PMW-185, SPAWAR, San Diego, CA

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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