Environmental satellite GOES-N is expected to be launched by the end of June by NOAA. GOES-N, like the rest of NOAA’s satellites, will help to gauge the pulse of the world’s changing environment and strengthen the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. GEOSS is an agreement signed by 60 nations and the European Commission that commits to linking existing environmental-monitoring technology into one system, which can better predict weather and climate, and prepare for natural hazards.
When GOES-N reaches orbit, it will be renamed GOES-13, and put in a storage mode as a backup to GOES-10 and GOES-12 until it is called into service. NOAA’s two operational GOES spacecraft — GOES-12 hovering above the equator in the east, and GOES-10, above the equator in the west — provide continuous environmental observations of North, Central, and South America and surrounding oceans. The satellites supply data critical for fast, accurate weather forecasts and warnings, detecting solar storm activity, relaying distress signals from emergency beacons, monitoring the oceans and scanning the landscape for the latest drought and flood conditions.
GOES-N, the first spacecraft in the new GOES-N/O/P series, will feature a highly stable pointing platform, which will improve the performance of the imager and sounder instruments. GOES-N will also have expanded measurements for the space and solar environment monitoring instruments, a new dedicated broadcast capability to be used by the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network, and a new digital weather facsimile capability for higher quality transmissions of data and products.