GOES-T looks to improve weather forecasting

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The third satellite in the GOES-R series was launched on Tuesday.

GOES-T, or when operational GOES-18, was launched to improve weather forecasting and weather satellite coverage across the world.

“It is opening the doors to new science," said L3Harris ABI Chief Systems Engineer Daniel Gall.

The imager, which will be responsible for capturing the stunning images that Mother Nature has to offer, was built by L3Harris and tested right here in Rochester.

“It’ll collect an image of the Earth or a full disk image every 10 minutes while simultaneously capturing regional and storm sector imagery as frequently as every 30 seconds to ensure we have really persistent coverage of any severe weather events,” Gall said.

This imager has the capability of viewing mesoscale weather processes down to spinning supercells and wildfires with pristine detail.

Not only will stunning images of supercells, hurricanes, and wildfires be viewed, but this satellite will help improve weather forecasting.

“There are a number of higher-level data products besides the imagery that comes down from the ABI. We can use some of the spectral bands to characterize features in the atmosphere and track them over time which can give us things like wind vectors which can feed into those weather models,” Gall said.

One of those high-level instruments is the ability of the imager to calculate temperatures on the surface of the Earth.

“The imager will calculate temperatures on the Earth more than 22,000 miles away to an absolute accuracy of 1-degree Kelvin. So, those highly calibrated measurements will go into the long-term climate record as well," Gall said.

After weeks of onboarding testing, GOES-T will be fully operational within the next few months.