NOAA and NASA prep for launch of next GOES

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA are preparing to launch a new weather satellite next month that will provide real-time weather data that will be used to develop short-term weather forecasts.

Data from the satellite - called Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-K which will be renamed GOES-10 once it is in orbit - will be used in combination with data from Doppler radars and automated surface observing systems. The data will be presented to forecasters in an integrated way via the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) developed by PRC Inc. AWIPS serves as the cornerstone of the National Weather System's modernization program.

AWIPS workstations will pull together satellite data radar data numerical weather data guidance data and sensor data to create a picture of the environment. This will give forecasters quick information so that weather warnings can be issued within seconds.

GOES-K is the third GOES satellite in a series of five to be developed by contractor Space Systems/Loral. GOES-8 and GOES-9 are in orbit covering the East and West coasts of the United States. GOES-10 will be placed in orbit and used only as a replacement for GOES-8 or GOES-9. GOES-K is being prepared for launch April 24.

Minor enhancements have been made to GOES-K. For example Loral has added a shield that will better protect the satellite from heat but otherwise the satellite is identical to the previous GOES satellites.

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service operates the GOES satellites including command and control data receipt and product generation and distribution. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the GOES contract including the design development and launch of the spacecraft.

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