GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

Great Lakes Region

GOES satellite
[ Current infrared image ] | [ Current visible image ]

Designed to operate in geosynchronous orbit, 35,790 km (22,240 statute miles) above the earth, thereby remaining stationary, the GOES spacecraft continuously view the continental United States, neighboring environs of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and Central and South America. The three-axis, body stabilized spacecraft design (GOES-8, onward) enables the sensors to image clouds, monitor earth's surface temperature and water vapor fields, and sound the atmosphere for its vertical thermal and vapor structures.

The main mission is carried out by the primary payload instruments, the Imager and the Sounder. The Imager is a multichannel instrument that senses radiant energy and reflected solar energy from the earth's surface and atmosphere. The Sounder provides data for vertical atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles, surface and cloud top temperature, and ozone distribution.

Other instruments on board the spacecraft are the search and rescue transponder, ground-based meteorological platform data collection and relay, and the space environment monitor. The latter consists of a magnetometer, an X-ray sensor, a high energy proton and alpha detector, and an energetic particles sensor, all used for in-situ surveying of the near-earth space environment.

Two advanced GOES satellites are in use: GOES-8, and -10 (Series I-M).

Main Characteristics of GOES I-M (GOES-8,-10...)
Dimensions : Main Body: 2.0m x 2.1m x 2.3m
Deployed Length: 26.9m
Weight : 2104.7 kg
Attitude Control: Three-axis body stabilized
Design life : 5-year minimum
Launch Vehicle : ATLAS I (GOES 8,9,K)
Launch Site : Cape Canaveral, FL
Launch Date : GOES-8: April 13, 1994; GOES-10: April 25, 1997
Orbit Type : Geosynchronous
Approximate Parameters
Altitude : 35,788 km (19,324 nmi.)
Longitude : GOES-8: 75 deg W; GOES-10: 135 deg W;
Latitude : GOES-8: +/- 0.5 deg; GOES-10: +/- 0.5 deg
Power | Solar Array and Batteries (1050 Watts Solar Array
Power Output at end of life)
Sensors : Imager
Space environment Monitor System
Search and Rescue (SAR) Transponder
Data Collection System (DCS)

For more information about the GOES satellite, see: GOES Project