The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has scheduled the launch of its first out of four next-generation geostationary weather satellites into space for Nov. 4 from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard an Atlas V rocket.
NOAA said Tuesday the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R is designed to scan the Earth five times faster, provide four times greater image resolution and use triple the number of spectral channels compared to current GOES satellites.
The GOES-R series’ goal is to extend satellite weather coverage through 2036.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the design, creation and tests of GOES-R satellites as Harris Corp. built the main instrument payload, Advanced Baseline Imager, data receipt antenna system and ground segment.
Lockheed moved GOES-R to the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Florida aboard a U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy cargo transport plane in August as part of launch preparations.
GOES-R will work to aid NOAA’s hurricane tracking, sun monitoring, intensity forecasts, space weather forecasts, radiation hazard detection, and predictions of other severe weather events such as tornadoes, thunderstorms and floods.
GOES-R includes six instruments such as a lightning mapper designed to help forecasters track strikes across the entire hemisphere as intensification can indicate increasing severity of storms.
The satellite will undergo testing and validation for one year, perform 10 years of on-orbit operation and carry out up to five years of on-orbit storage, according to NOAA.
NOAA works with NASA to manage the development and launch of GOES-R through the integrated NOAA-NASA office.