NASA has successfully launched the third in a series of four next-generation weather satellites, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES).
It will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Objectives of Satellite
GOES-T will track destructive wildfires, lightning, Pacific Ocean-based storms, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska.
It will also monitor solar activity and space weather to provide early warnings of disruptions to power grids, communications and navigation systems.
How will it work
Using its advanced technology suite it will provide critical data and imagery to forecasters and researchers tracking hazardous weather.
Observations will be fed into the NOAA's National Weather Service’s computer models used by meteorologists to develop forecasts and help predict the formation, growth, intensity and movement of hazardous weather systems.
Satellite has a lightening mapper which will provide robust and continuous data over the ocean and in mountainous and rural areas not covered by radar.
This will assist in making tropical, aviation and marine forecasts.
The lightning data can provide alert for the potential ignition of a wildfire and its imager will help pinpoint the initial location of a wildfire.
It will prove crucial for emergency response teams fighting the fires and initiating evacuations.