Space

Four instruments for next-gen weather satellite finished

NOAA storm imagery

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received an early gift this Christmas with news that the fourth major space weather instrument designed for its next-generational weather satellite is ready for integration to the spacecraft.

The Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) was built by Lockheed Martin at its Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif. It will be shipped in early 2014 to a sister Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, Colo., for installation on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R).

When launched in early 2016, the satellite will produce more data than any before it. SUVI is a high-powered telescope that will observe the sun, monitoring for flares and other solar activity that could affect Earth. Data produced by SUVI will enable NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center to provide better and earlier warnings to electric power companies, telecoms and satellite operators in the event of dangerous activity on the sun.

SUVI is one of four space-weather instruments that will be aboard GOES-R. Two of the others -- the Space Environment In-Situ Suite and the Extreme X-Ray Irradiance Sensor -- are complete and ready for integration to the satellite. One more space-weather instrument, the Magnetometer, which will provide measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field, is still under construction.

Two other instruments will also accompany GOES-R upon launch. The Advanced Baseline Imager is ready for integration, while the Geostationary Lightning Mapper is still under development by Lockheed Martin.

The instruments’ capabilities include:

  • Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which will provide for the first time a continuous surveillance of total lightning over the western hemisphere from space.
  • The Space Environment In-Situ Suite consists of sensors that will monitor radiation hazards that can affect satellites and communications for commercial airline flights over the poles.
  • The Solar Ultraviolet Imager is a high-powered telescope that observes the sun, monitoring for solar flares and other solar activity that could affect Earth.
  • The Magnetometer will provide measurements of the space environment magnetic field that controls charged particle dynamics in the outer region of the magnetosphere. These particles can be dangerous to spacecraft and human spaceflight.
  • Advanced Baseline Imager is GOES-R’s primary instrument for scanning the planet’s weather, oceans and environment, offering faster imaging at higher resolutions than current space-based technology. The instrument also offers NOAA new forecast products for severe weather, volcanic ash advisories, fire, smoke monitoring and other types of hazards.
  • Extreme X-Ray Irradiance Sensor (EXIS) will monitor solar behavior and alert ground crews of solar storms.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group