NASA successfully launched National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s next-generation weather satellite, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R). The satellite will boost weather observation capabilities of the United States resulting in more timely forecasts and warnings. Once the satellite reaches its final designated orbit, GOES-R will be renamed as GOES-16. The satellite is expected to become operational within a year.
The satellite has six new instruments including the first operational lightning mapper in geostationary orbit. The lightning mapper would be helpful to hone in on storms. In addition, the satellite’s Advanced Baseline Imager will provide images of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment in 16 different spectral bands. Improved space weather sensors will be helpful in monitoring and relay crucial information to forecasters for issuing accurate space weather alerts and warnings.
Apart from providing forecasting services, GOES-R will become a part of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System.
SARSAT is an international satellite-based search and rescue network under the operation of NOAA.