TABLE D.4 GOES Sounder Current and Upgraded Capability


GOES Sounder Today



Scanning flexibility

Fixed scan area

Scan arbitrary-sized area within full disk on command

Increased flexibility to satisfy diverse simultaneous requirements.

Spectral channels

19 wide channels (1 VIS, 6 SWIR, 5 MWIR, 7 LWIR)

SWIR/MWIR/LWIR sounding: 1,700 to 3,400 channels. CW imaging: 14 channels (threshold)/hyperspectral

Increased sounder spectral resolution reduces T, Q, “V” retrieval uncertainty; new capability for high-resolution imaging of coastal ecosystems.

Coverage region/area

Full disk; local regions on command, including regional sounding

Full disk (108 km2); CONUS (1.5 x 107 km2); mesoscale (1.0 x 106 km2); CW (2.4 x 106km2)


Horizontal resolution

IR sounder (10 km), with 50-10 km retrievals

IR sounder/retrieval (4 km), CW imager (300 m)

Can sound between clouds, near fronts; able to resolve coastal gradients.

NOTES: GOES, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite; HES, Hyperspectral Environmental Satellite; VIS, visible; SWIR, short-wave infrared; MWIR, mid-wave infrared; LWIR, long-wave infrared; T, atmospheric vertical temperature; q, water vapor; “V,” four-dimensional profiling of winds; CONUS, continental United States; CW, coastal waters; IR, infrared.

sense from 1,700 to 3,400 narrow channels using either dispersive (demonstrated by the AIRS instrument) or Fourier transform (demonstrated by aircraft instruments and the NPOESS Cross-track Infrared Sounder) spectroscopy. HES will also enable the four-dimensional profiling of winds (“V”). This increase in collected environmental data will yield a corresponding improvement in environmental information, enabling reductions in retrieval uncertainty while simultaneously improving the vertical resolution—for example, temperature inversions will be detectable.

Based in part on the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Lightning Imaging Sensor, the GLM will continuously map all forms of continental United States lightning discharges and measure total lightning activity over large areas of the Americas and nearby oceans on a continuous basis. GLM will help advance tornado warnings by 20 minutes, while enhancing lightning and intensity hazard alerts.

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