GOES Imaging and Sounding Solutions

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series become the backbone for the United States’ civil early warning weather system, and Harris’ imagers and sounders have been on board since the GOES-I launched in 1994. With a multi-spectral design and increased sensitivity, these instruments detect temperature fluctuations and variations in low-level moisture. They provide meteorologists with the ability to track hurricanes from their inception as tropical storms, tornadoes, and other severe storms—and issue warnings and advisories long before their effect. The imaging and sounding technology developed for the GOES satellites has been applied to geostationary satellite programs around the world.

Harris GOES Sounder

The GOES Sounder from Harris brought improved capabilities over the previous GOES series: a greater number of spectral channels, higher spatial resolution, and increased sensitivity for high-quality soundings. Its improved sensors collect and identify variations within Earth's atmosphere using a scanning broad infrared spectrum. The sounders enabled meteorologists to observe a greater number of detailed reports that denote important atmospheric fluctuations.

Korea's COMS-1 Meteorological Imager

Harris provided a meteorological imager to the Korean Aerospace Research Institute for COMS-1. The imaging radiometer uses data obtained from its five channels to continuously produce images of the earth's surface, oceans, severe storm development, cloud cover, cloud temperature and height, surface temperature, and water vapor density. It helped the country's weather authorities to work more independently as South Korea's weather forecasts were previously relying on United States and Japanese satellites.

Japan's MTSAT-2 Imager

Japan's Multifunctional Transport Satellite (MTSAT-2), also known as Himawari-7, carries a Harris-designed and -built imager with five total observation channels: four in infrared and one in the visible wavelength.

Upgraded from earlier weather satellites, it includes twice as many imaging cycles, an improved ability to discern low-level clouds and fog, and more accurate sea surface temperature estimates at night. The MTSAT-2 imager provides accurate radiometric data to evaluate surface, cloud, and atmospheric properties for the entire Asia-Pacific region. Harris also incorporated the ability to capture these images using state-of-the-art day/night imagery.