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VAWS: Geostationary Satellite Improvements for Better Viewing of Alaska and Surrounding Areas

June 12, 2019 @ 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm AKDT

Speaker: Tim Schmit, Research Satellite Meteorologist, NOAA NESDIS STAR, University of Wisconsin

There have been many recent changes to better observe Alaska from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) perspective. The most significant change was in February 2019, when GOES-17 became NOAA’s operational West geostationary satellite.

The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) has spectral bands covering the visible, near-infrared and infrared portions of the electro-magnetic spectrum. The ABI represents a major improvement from the legacy GOES imagers for many attributes, such as those relating to: spectral, spatial, temporal, radiometric, and image navigation/registration. An on-board cooling issue associated with the Loop Heat Pipe on GOES-17 causes degradation for certain periods of the year, at certain times, mostly at night.

The affected spectral bands are those with wavelengths greater than 4 micrometers with effects that start with biasing, striping, banding, and ultimately complete saturation for the most affected bands. In order to mitigate the impacts of this issue, improvements to the calibration procedures are improving the image quality before and after saturation occurs. These improvements include a modification to the ABI timeline in the 10-min Full Disk flex mode, predictive calibration, and other changes. Once a spectral band is saturated, there is little that can be done to better calibrate the data.

The current status of Level 2 or derived products, such as cloud heights or atmospheric motion vectors, from the GOES-17 ABI will also be covered.