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View Diary: NOAA's GOES 13 Satellite Fails; Congressional War on Weather Well Underway (107 comments)

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  •  It is too late (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weatherdude, Youffraita, ladybug53, peggy

    It takes multiple years to build, test and launch a satellite of that size and complexity

    •  GOES-R hasn't been killed (yet) (10+ / 0-)

      It's scheduled to launch in October 2015, though there are rumors that the schedule will slip. The GOES-R series satellites are vastly superior to the current GOES satellites in every way (higher resolution, more spectral channels, more frequent images, less "wobble", additional instrumentation). However, it's not at all clear that NWS will be able to disseminate much of the GOES-R data due to deep budget cuts since all of this data will require more network and satellite broadcast bandwidth for distribution. There is hope that the Sandy supplemental funding will allow needed infrastructure to be built out, but that is not a certainty. This all being said, there is still a sizable effort within NWS to update systems, software, and networks for GOES-R and GOES-S.

      GOES-R isn't the only game in town. The NPP polar-orbiting satellite was launched last year, and it produces huge quantities of weather data. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, NWS is only able to use a tiny amount. It's currently mostly used to improve Alaska coverage since the look angle from the GOES satellites is so low in the northern latitudes that GOES Alaska imagery is only so useful. NPP is in a low (polar) orbit, which means it views the entire globe during the course of a day. It also means that, unlike the geostationary GOES satellites, it doesn't get a constant view of the US.

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