GOES Project Science User Notes

last updated 24 November 2014


Added a link to wide-angle movies made from the semi-hemispheric images taken every 30 minutes from GOES-EAST and GOES-WEST. The frames are a little under 1k-by-1k pixels, reduced by a factor of 2 from the original full-resolution images in order to make the movie fit on a typical computer monitor.

In August 2014, software to track this web site's usage was installed at the behest U.S. Chief Information Officer, in order to "...ultimately improve products, services, and access to information for the American people." It fails to track the GOES image downloads, at least 95% of the traffic on this site.

On the evening of 29 June 2012, GOES image processing went down due to computer damage caused by the power outage after the
derecho (a violent straight line gust front during a heat wave) that passed over NASA-GSFC. GOES images were not produced during the first week of July, until burned-out computer hardware could be purchased and replaced.

In August 2010, a HDTV movie option was added to view the last 3 days of mid-Atlantic images from GOES-EAST. The movie will include any rapid-scans made of the area to support the NASA-NOAA intensive hurricane-observing campaign from midAugust to mid-September.

In August 2010, a movie option was added to view the last 7 days of once-every-3-hour full disk images from both GOES-EAST or GOES-WEST.

In June 2010, a movie option was added to view the last 7 days of once-every-3-hour full disk images from either GOES-EAST or GOES-WEST. All recent color movies are now in the industry standard H.264 digital format used by broadcast and cable TV.

In June 2010, each of the 4 small recent GOES images were linked a corresponding "reference movie", a term used by Apple for a file that decides the best size/speed movie to download to your browser. This accommodates devices using Apple's Quicktime, ranging from iPhones to iPads to iMacs and including Windows PC's with Apple's Quicktime codecs installed. Reference movies automatically select the most appropriate network speed as well as screen size.

In October 2009, wide-screen format color movies started being offered under the links titled "Hurricane Alley HDTV". These are in Apple QuickTime MP4 720p format (i.e. 1280x720 pixels, compressed with the H.264 codec used by cable TV). The near-shore GOES-EAST/WEST movies have 4 frames per hour for the last 2 days, and the mid-ocean GOES-EAST/WEST movies have 2 frames per hour for the last 3 days. There is a date/time stamp in each frame. Datetime is odometer-style: "YYMMDD hhmm", an abbreviation for "YEAR-MONTH-DAY hour-minute" (UTC). Each movie is updated once per hour, and is approximately 20 MBytes to download. The movie files may be too large to download or play using older operating systems and browsers.

In October 2008, color image processing was moved to a single powerful computer (an Apple Mac Pro) to create more of the popular GOES-on-MODIS cloud-on-color images. The main web page was re-organized to reflect the additional pretty-picture/movie services, and to place links next to the current sample image.

In June 2007, the computers making and storing GOES-EAST and GOES-WEST image sectors failed, as did their backups. Consequently, the goeseast and goeswest collections went down. Image processing was moved to a new system, and a number of improvements were made to the image files. Link-path names were changed. Image file sizes were reduced by using LZW-TIFF compression. Colorized CONUS images service was expanded. Maps and navigation files were improved and relocated.

In June 2007, TIFF production changed over to images that are internally LWZ-compressed. The images are typically half the size of uncompressed images. This makes it possible to keep more data on-line, and to make faster downloads to the users. Modern browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) decompress LZW-TIFF automatically, as do most image-processing applications. For a free image-processing application, try ImageMagick, which offers binaries for Unix, Windows, and Mac OS-X.

In June 2006, the colorization of the CONUS sector was improved to add a seasonal MODIS background true-color map. The GOES cloud overlay software was also changed to improve details in the cloudtop shadows during the day time. The source files for the new colorized conus were put in the hurricane2 and pacific2 sectors instead of the hurricane and pacific sectors.

In the fall of 2005, the high volume of web and ftp requests during hurricanes Katrina and Rita uncovered a problem with local area networking, and so the disk containing the GOES images was attached directly to the web server in October 2005.

On 10 September 2004, the computers serving this web page and GOES image repository were seriously hacked. On 4 October, public service was finally restored.

At the end of August 2004, the 10-year old computer serving this web page and image repository was replaced. Most of the active links and bookmarks will remain the same for a while. Links to disk names (e.g. "goesd") should be converted to generic names (e.g. "goeseast"). Links or bookmarks to "rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov" should be converted to "goes.gsfc.nasa.gov". Please let us know if something has gone awry.

On 20 May 2004, the GOES image sectors for GOES-EAST were switched over to larger disks with fully spelled out sector names (e.g. "hurrican" became "hurricane"). These sectors now hold the last week of images, instead of only a day or two. There was similar switch-over for GOES-WEST.

To provide the science community with a wider dynamic range of IR calibration from the GOES Imagers, we are converting from the 192-to-320K linear calibration curve to the 163-to-330K dog-leg calibration curve known as "mode A". This change in IR calibration happened for the GOES-EAST 8-bit images as in July 2001, and for the GOES-WEST 8-bit images in March 2003.

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NASA standard dissemination statement

Everything found here is in the public domain.
Permission is granted to use, duplicate, modify and redistribute images.
Please give credit for the satellite images to:
"NASA-GSFC, data from NOAA GOES"

NASA Official: Dennis.Chesters@nasa.gov