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GOES Pathfinder

The GOES Pathfinder products were developed through a NOAA-NASA grant at the University of Wisconsin's Space Science Engineering Center. Pathfinder processed data streams from the VISSR/VAS sensors aboard the GOES-7 satellite. Pathfinder products are 8-km images and 70-km statistics.

Ongoing research recommended by the GOES Pathfinder Scientific Working Group is working to develop an improved method for calibrating the GOES VISSR (Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer) solar channels. Proper VISSR calibration is essential for this data to be used in quantitative climate change analyses, such as cloud physics and radiation budgets.

The GOES archive contains over 169 TB of reconstructed, unprocessed data dating back to 1978. These data are managed through a NOAA contract with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The 8-km and 70-km GOES Pathfinder products are no longer available on-line.

  • 8-km Resolution Sounding and Multispectral Images
    Water vapor and infrared image data are sampled, and true averaging applied to the visible measurements to produce an 8-km product (created from full-resolution GOES imagery at 1-hour temporal resolution).

  • 70-km Resolution Equal-Area Statistics
    An equal-area statistical product set at approximately 70-km resolution also is generated. The 70-km statistical package allows a first-level analysis of the 8-km imagery.

MERLIN: Freeware for Pathfinder data

MERLIN is a free software package for use with the NOAA-NASA Pathfinder dataset. For more information, see the MERLIN Web page.

For More Information

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Updated 30 November 1999 by the SSEC Webmaster.