The latest trend is the high-power GOES satellites. This is the first of its kind and part of a forecasting and weather upgrade valued at $11 billion. It will be launched on Saturday at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. There are six state-of-the-art instruments built into the satellite, which includes a massive camera that can deliver high-resolution, near real-time imagery. Experts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that forecasting will be revolutionized for the next 20 years, because of these new satellites. They will help save lives and even help protect property.
NOAA’s associate administrator, Stephen Volz said, “NOAA’s GOES-R satellite, with its advanced technologies, will be a game changer for weather forecasting and climate science for many years to come. For decades now, NOAA satellites have been the backbone of our increasingly accurate and timely weather and climate forecasts. However, this new four-satellite GOES series is really a quantum leap above any satellite NOAA has ever flown. Without a doubt, GOES-R will revolutionize weather forecasting as we know it.”
The vision was shared by the program director of NOAA, Greg Mandt. Mandt said that forecasters are anxiously waiting. He went on to tell CBS News, “It’s just a phenomenal capability. When we first showed it to some of the forecasters, one of them gave me a great quote. He goes, ‘this is like going from black-and-white television to HDTV.’ Just the crispness of what we’re seeing, and to get it so fast that they can see what’s developing. So, they’re just tremendously excited about what it’s going to do for us.”
The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) will be mounted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. It is scheduled to be launched at 5:42 pm EST on Saturday. The forecast prediction is a 90% chance of favorable weather.