Objectives: The satellite was designed to sense
meteorological conditions from a fixed location above the Earth, and to
provide this data to operational forecasters and private interests on the
ground. It was the second (designed to work in coordination with GOES-4)
geostationary satellite to provide continuous vertical profiles of
atmospheric temperature and moisture.
The spacecraft was a cylinder 85
inches in diameter, 138 inches high and weighed 874 pounds. The sides of
the cylinder were covered by 15,000 solar cells which, along with nicad
batteries, provided the power for the craft. Contained within, but
protruding from the base was the primary instrument - the VAS (Visible
Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer(VISSR) Atmospheric Sounder) and its sunshade.
This instrument provided both day and night imagery of cloud conditions as
well as temperature and moisture profiles over the full-disk.
Unfortunately, the dwell times of sounder versus imager do not permit these
two operations to occur simultaneously; however, soundings are still
available on an hourly basis.
The satellite also used new despun
S-band and UHF antennas to improve the relay of meteorological data from
over 10,000 surface locations into a central processing center for
incorporation into numerical weather prediction models, and to perform
facsimile transmission of processed images and weather maps to WEFAX field
stations. In addition, a Space Environment Monitor (SEM) and Data
Collection System (DCS) similar to those on the previous GOES were
placed in a geostationary orbit directly over the equator over the western
Participants: NASA, NOAA, Hughes Aircraft,
May 22, 1981
Deactivated July 18, 1990
Cape Canaveral, FL
1968 - 1977
1978 - 1987
1988 - 1997