The Advanced Meteorological Imager (AMI) successfully launched on board the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite (GEO-KOMPSAT)-2A satellite December 4, 2018. Built for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, AMI is the fifth advanced-class imager built by Harris Corporation to make its journey into space to support improved weather forecasts around the world.

GEO-KOMPSAT-2A will continue the COMS (Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite) mission of strengthening South Korea’s capability to monitor the atmospheric environment around the Korean Peninsula. The number of available channels and speed of observations will be three times better than the country’s legacy weather satellites. AMI is expected to bring greater precision and improved extreme weather forecasts for South Korea.

AMI is based on the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) design for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) next generation of weather satellites, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES) Series. The GOES-R Series will soon provide weather coverage for the entire Western Hemisphere; GOES-East is operational now, and GOES-17 (GOES-West) will soon be operational. Two additional Harris Advanced Baseline Imagers are scheduled to launch as part of NOAA’s GOES series in the coming years to build out the product line. Harris’ advanced-class instruments for Japan—called the Advanced Himawari Imagers—are operational on Himawari-8 and Himawari-9 satellites.

The GEO-KOMPSAT-2A launch marks the third launch this fall of environmental satellites with Harris-built instruments on board. Japan’s Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT)-2 successfully launched October 29 with the Harris-built TANSO-FTS-2 (Thermal and Near Infrared Sensor for Carbon Observation-Fourier Transform Spectrometer). The instrument will measure atmospheric greenhouse gases. Europe’s Metop-C polar-orbiting satellite launched November 7 with an AVHRR, which is a visible/infrared radiometer. AVHRR is recognized internationally as the definitive operational imager for global weather data.