The GOES system is a basic element of US weather
monitoring and forecast operations and is a key component of the NWS (National Weather Service)
modernization program. Spacecraft and ground-based systems work together to
accomplish the GOES mission of providing weather imagery and quantitative
sounding data for weather forecasting and related services. The new series
of GOES satellites provides significant improvements over the previous GOES
system in weather imagery and atmospheric sounding information.
spacecraft derive from Space System/Loral's communcations satellites,
providing a 3-axis stabilized design. The main body of the spacecraft is a
2-meter cube, with a deployed length of 27 meters. The spacecraft weighs
4600 pounds. The GOES-8 system performs the following basic functions:
Acquisition, processing, and dissemination of imaging and sounding data;
acquisition and dissemination of Space Environment Monitor (SEM) data;
reception and relay of data from ground-based Data Collection Platforms
(DCPs) that are situated in carefully selected urban and remote areas to
the NOAA Command and Data Acquisition (CDA) station. GOES-8 also provides a continuous relay of
Weather Facsimile (WEFAX) and other data to users, independent of all
other functions. A 'fringe benefit' of GOES-8 is its ability to relay distress signals from people, aircraft, or marine
vessels to the search and rescue ground stations of the Search and Rescue
Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system. The GOES-8 spacecraft is
operational as GOES-EAST at 75W, and is still providing clear imagery.
Participants: NASA, NOAA, Space Systems/Loral, ITT, General Dynamics Space Systems Division
NOAA GOES-8 Real-Time Images
This image, taken by GOES-8 on September 23, 1994, shows
atmospheric water vapor.
GOES-8 image of dust blowing from North Africa into the Atlantic Ocean on October 20, 1995.
Photo:Satellite image from GOES-8. 1998.
April 13, 1994
Cape Canaveral, FL
1968 - 1977
1978 - 1987
1988 - 1997