NOAA satellite turned off due to signal noise

Atlantic hurricane coverage is decreased

By Max Mayfield - Hurricane Specialist
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MIAMI - The NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) turned off the GOES-East satellite Sunday night at 9:22 p.m. due to excessive signal noise.

The United States geostationary satellite plan calls for two operational geostationary satellites: GOES-East that primarily covers the central and eastern U.S. and most of the Atlantic Basin, and GOES-West that primarily covers the central and eastern Pacific and the western U.S.

These two geostationary satellites are about 22,300 miles above the earth's surface with GOES-East centered over the equator at 75W and GOES-West centered over the equator at 135W.

These satellites are the primary observing systems in the tropics.

Coverage of the central and eastern Atlantic without GOES-East would normally be lacking from the U.S. geostationary satellites.

Fortunately, the U.S. has a backup geostationary satellite (GOES-14) that was launched in June 2009 and parked as an on-orbit spare centered over the equator at 105W.

This satellite started assuming the GOES-East schedule at 1:45 pm Monday.

NOAA reports that engineers are still investigating the signal noise problem with no return to service time given on the designated GOES-East. If the problem can't be fixed, GOES-14 could become the new operational GOES-East satellite and be moved to 75W.

The National Hurricane Center is also routinely receiving the European geostationary Meteosat (centered over the equator and the Greenwich Meridian) imagery every 15 minutes that helps in filling the current gap especially over the eastern Atlantic.

The next U.S. geostationary satellite is currently scheduled to be launched in 2015.

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