Launched on March 1, from the Cape Canaveral in Florida, GOES-17 is back into the focus after the satellite witnessed a serious malfunction in its cooling system. The issue is said to be having serious consequences on quality of the pictures. The satellite with the primary goal of supplying pictures of hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires and all the other natural calamities, is facing an image quality degradation issue as the satellite is unable to cool off its infrared sensors. The sensors inside the much-advanced Imager are threatening the performance of the camera. Experts are on toes to understand what went awry and how to work on a quick fix. The analysts may take up to a few months to calculate the possible problem and the solution.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration remarked about the issue, and as per the NOAA, the challenge of figuring things out from 22000 miles on the basis of on-orbit data is huge. However, NOAA also stressed out that the other GOES satellites are working as per expectations including the GOES-16 which was launched back in 2016. The GOES-16 was a link of the $11 billion program designed to revolutionize forecasting. The GOES 16 is currently monitoring East and Atlantic coast.
The GOES-17 is the second in the series and has been launched for the advanced coverage of Pacific region as well as the Western U.S. The issue with the cooling system of the satellite was detected during a routine checkout of the satellite in orbit. The infrared channels being one of the most critical elements for the observing needs pose a serious threat to the overall functioning of the satellite. The problems as per the sources lie within channel numbers 13 and 14, which were supposed to operate within a temperature range of minus 200 degree Celsius. The cooling system running on Propolyne is currently at failure and not able to maintain the temperature during the relatively warmer parts of the orbit.
This failure is hindering the performance of channels 13 and 14, almost half of the times. Another satellite of the range GOES-18 will be launched around 2020. The previously launched GOES-16 has been applauded for its crisp and fast pictures which had stunned meteorologists during the Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston and then with images from the Hurricanes Maria and Irma that causes massive storms when they approached the United States and the Caribbean in the last summer.