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Rochester’s role in prepping the latest GOES weather satellite for launch, and a look at what’s next

todayFebruary 9, 2024 2

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Every day our weather team shows you in some form, a picture from a satellite. But did you know those satellite images have a Rochester connection? The current generation of satellites operated by NOAA, called the GOES-R generation, are all equipped with a specialized camera called an Advanced Baseline Imager, which was built by L3Harris.

Chris Reith is the program manager for NOAA’s GOES-U satellite at L3Harris, while the Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, was built at his facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The final checks and testing all happened right here in Rochester before being shipped to the Kennedy Space Center to be installed on the satellite and prepped for flight.

“The testing process is designed to mimic the environment of space that the ABI is going to experience time. It’s a really rigorous and extensive testing plan that extends several months,” said Reith.

L3Harris has worked on the GOES program for several generations now, each time helping to improve what can be seen. According to Pam Sullivan, who oversees the GOES program and more at NOAA, the jump to this generation from the last was massive.

“A huge upgrade compared to the previous generation. They actually have 60 times the amount of data,” said Sullivan. “The GOES-R series can see in 16 colors, the previous generation only five.”

Those 16 colors, also called bands, range from the visible to the infrared spectrum. Another major leap was how often new images are sent back, along with a higher resolution than ever before. In the next generation called GeoXO for now, it’s only set to get better

“GXI or the GeoXO imager as we call it. There’s going to be two additional bands over the 16 bands that are provided on ABI,” said Reith. “Also, there’s going to be enhancements to resolution on seven of the existing bands.”

L3Harris once again is providing the imager for the new generation of satellites, which is set to launch tentatively in 2032. GOES-U though, will hopefully launch by the end of April capping off a monumental leap forward for NOAA, meteorologists, and the world.

“We always say you know whether or not you’ve ever heard of GOES, GOES helps you every day you know before, during, and after a disaster. You know it’s there looking out for you,” said Sullivan.

When GOES-U becomes operational its name will change to GOES-19 and replace GOES-16 which is also called GOES-East, and become the main satellite covering the East Coast. Including right here in Rochester. 

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Every day our weather team shows you in some form, a picture from a satellite. But did you know those satellite images have a Rochester connection? The current generation of satellites operated by NOAA, called the GOES-R generation, are all equipped with a specialized camera called an Advanced Baseline Imager, which was built by L3Harris.

Chris Reith is the program manager for NOAA’s GOES-U satellite at L3Harris, while the Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, was built at his facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The final checks and testing all happened right here in Rochester before being shipped to the Kennedy Space Center to be installed on the satellite and prepped for flight.

“The testing process is designed to mimic the environment of space that the ABI is going to experience time. It’s a really rigorous and extensive testing plan that extends several months,” said Reith.

L3Harris has worked on the GOES program for several generations now, each time helping to improve what can be seen. According to Pam Sullivan, who oversees the GOES program and more at NOAA, the jump to this generation from the last was massive.

“A huge upgrade compared to the previous generation. They actually have 60 times the amount of data,” said Sullivan. “The GOES-R series can see in 16 colors, the previous generation only five.”

Those 16 colors, also called bands, range from the visible to the infrared spectrum. Another major leap was how often new images are sent back, along with a higher resolution than ever before. In the next generation called GeoXO for now, it’s only set to get better

“GXI or the GeoXO imager as we call it. There’s going to be two additional bands over the 16 bands that are provided on ABI,” said Reith. “Also, there’s going to be enhancements to resolution on seven of the existing bands.”L3Harris once again is providing the imager for the new generation of satellites, which is set to launch tentatively in 2032. GOES-U though, will hopefully launch by the end of April capping off a monumental leap forward for NOAA, meteorologists, and the world.

“We always say you know whether or not you’ve ever heard of GOES, GOES helps you every day you know before, during, and after a disaster. You know it’s there looking out for you,” said Sullivan.

When GOES-U becomes operational its name will change to GOES-19 and replace GOES-16 which is also called GOES-East, and become the main satellite covering the East Coast. Including right here in Rochester.  Read More RochesterRochesterFirst  

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