The next generation weather satellite has suffered a glitch after just two months after its launch. The satellite is encountering cooling problems. The Advanced Baseline Imager is unable to correctly capture infrared and near-infrared images due to the problem with the GOES-17 satellite.
The task of the GOES-17 satellite is to monitor the weather systems over the Western United States and the Pacific Ocean. NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Advanced Baseline Imager contractors are investigating the issue. They revealed that the problem is with the plumbing works done on the system that cools the infrared detectors.
According to Stephen Volz, the assistant administrator for satellite and information services at NOAA revealed that the problem is not severe. He also noted that this is the first earth pointing instrument as part of the GOES platform. He also mentioned that if the 16 channels are not functioning adequately, then it is a waste.
Stephen said that they detected the issue three weeks ago. He mentioned that the problem is with the infrared and the near infrared channel; all other elements including the visible wavelength channels, space weather instruments, and the lightning mapper are working well.
The GOES-17 satellite is just like the GOES-East satellite. However, GOES-17 is far advanced. The GOES-17 satellite would monitor atmospheric conditions such as storms, fog conditions, and wildfires. The GOES-R series would launch two other satellites soon. The names of these satellites are GOES-T and GOES-U.
These satellites will launch in 2020 and 2024, and the total budget for the entire project is $10.8 billion. The budget covers everything from development, through launch, and operations up to the year 2036.
As stakeholders keenly wait for the results of the investigation into the issues of the GOES-17 satellite, there is a possibility that the launch dates for the GOES-T and GOES-U satellites would change due to the outcome of the investigations.
GOES-S satellite is already in its final testing stage and will launch to join GOES-16 by Spring this year. GOES-U is the last satellite in this program. The GOES-T satellite is a satellite that NASA will place in orbit for contingencies. The satellite will readily replace any of the GOES satellites that will encounter an issue.
The NEXT-Generation weather satellites would improve weather forecasting as future satellites have advanced features to improve upon the functions of the earlier satellites.