First GOES-13 Full Disk Image
Launched on May 24, GOES-13 is the first of the next series of geostationary weather satellites. These satellites will provide a few improvements over current GOES satellites, including improved navigation and superior measurement of optical radiation.
However, we will have to wait to benefit from GOES-13 data. After NASA and NOAA check the satellite both from an engineering perspective and a science perspective, GOES-13 will go into in-orbit storage until it is time to replace one of the current operating geostationary weather satellites (GOES-11 or GOES-12).
After NASA completes the engineering test, NOAA will take over the operation of GOES-13 and will conduct a science test (beginning in the fall). As they have for previous GOES satellites, SSEC’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) will contribute to the GOES-13 science test. The test includes comparisons of data from GOES-13 against measurements from other satellites and ground-based instruments, which is a critical step in preparation for the use of GOES-13 data in numerical weather prediction and forecasting applications.
Also, on June 21, GOES-11 returned to operational use after its own extended hiatus in in-orbit storage. GOES-11 replaced GOES-10 as the GOES-West satellite. GOES-10 will then be moved to 60 West and be the weather satellite over Latin America. SSEC will help with the GOES-10 check-in/check-out as it transfers from the U.S. to Latin America. For a while, several GOES satellites will be transmitting data simultaneously. SSEC’s Data Center is one of very few places that can handle such an inundation of satellite data.