NOAA’s GOES-S Satellite Testing Continues Apr 17, 2017

[Image credit: Lockheed Martin]

In March, NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) satellite was lifted into a thermal vacuum chamber to test its ability to function in the cold void of space in its orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.

[Credit: Lockheed Martin]

The most complicated and challenging test is thermal vacuum where a satellite experiences four cycles of extreme cold to extreme heat in a giant vacuum chamber. To simulate the environment of space, the chamber is cooled to below minus 100 degrees Celsius or minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit and air is pumped out.

[Credit: Lockheed Martin]

The test simulates the temperature changes GOES-S will encounter in space, as well as worst case scenarios of whether the instruments can come back to life in case of a shut down that exposes them to even colder temperatures. In this photo from March 8, the GOES-S satellite was lowered into the giant vacuum chamber at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colorado. GOES-S will be in the thermal vacuum chamber for 45 days. As of March 30, two of four thermal cycles were complete.

[GOES-R and GOES-S side-by-side. Credit: Lockheed Martin]

GOES-S is the second in the GOES-R series. The GOES-R program is a collaborative development and acquisition effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

[Credit: Lockheed Martin]

The GOES-R series of satellites will help meteorologists observe and predict local weather events, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, flash floods, and other severe weather. In addition, GOES-R will monitor hazards such as aerosols, dust storms, volcanic eruptions, and forest fires and will also be used for space weather, oceanography, climate monitoring, in-situ data collection, and for search and rescue.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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