Weather satellite

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GOES-16, a United States weather satellite of the meteorological-satellite service GOES-R SPACECRAFT.jpg
GOES-16, a United States weather satellite of the meteorological-satellite service

A weather satellite or meteorological satellite is a type of Earth observation satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. Satellites can be polar orbiting (covering the entire Earth asynchronously), or geostationary (hovering over the same spot on the equator). [1]


While primarily used to detect the development and movement of storm systems and other cloud patterns, meteorological satellites can also detect other phenomena such as city lights, fires, effects of pollution, auroras, sand and dust storms, snow cover, ice mapping, boundaries of ocean currents, and energy flows. Other types of environmental information are collected using weather satellites. Weather satellite images helped in monitoring the volcanic ash cloud from Mount St. Helens and activity from other volcanoes such as Mount Etna. [2] Smoke from fires in the western United States such as Colorado and Utah have also been monitored.

El Niño and its effects on weather are monitored daily from satellite images. The Antarctic ozone hole is mapped from weather satellite data. Collectively, weather satellites flown by the U.S., Europe, India, China, Russia, and Japan provide nearly continuous observations for a global weather watch.


The first television image of Earth from space from the TIROS-1 weather satellite in 1960 TIROS-1-Earth.png
The first television image of Earth from space from the TIROS-1 weather satellite in 1960
A mosaic of photographs of the United States from the ESSA-9 weather satellite, taken on June 26, 1969 ESSA-9 satellite photo mosaic.PNG
A mosaic of photographs of the United States from the ESSA-9 weather satellite, taken on June 26, 1969

As early as 1946, the idea of cameras in orbit to observe the weather was being developed. This was due to sparse data observation coverage and the expense of using cloud cameras on rockets. By 1958, the early prototypes for TIROS and Vanguard (developed by the Army Signal Corps) were created. [3] The first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, was launched on February 17, 1959. [4] It was designed to measure cloud cover and resistance, but a poor axis of rotation and its elliptical orbit kept it from collecting a notable amount of useful data. The Explorer VI and VII satellites also contained weather-related experiments. [3]

The first weather satellite to be considered a success was TIROS-1, launched by NASA on April 1, 1960. [5] TIROS operated for 78 days and proved to be much more successful than Vanguard 2. TIROS paved the way for the Nimbus program, whose technology and findings are the heritage of most of the Earth-observing satellites NASA and NOAA have launched since then. Beginning with the Nimbus 3 satellite in 1969, temperature information through the tropospheric column began to be retrieved by satellites from the eastern Atlantic and most of the Pacific Ocean, which led to significant improvements to weather forecasts. [6]

The ESSA and NOAA polar orbiting satellites followed suit from the late 1960s onward. Geostationary satellites followed, beginning with the ATS and SMS series in the late 1960s and early 1970s, then continuing with the GOES series from the 1970s onward. Polar orbiting satellites such as QuikScat and TRMM began to relay wind information near the ocean's surface starting in the late 1970s, with microwave imagery which resembled radar displays, which significantly improved the diagnoses of tropical cyclone strength, intensification, and location during the 2000s and 2010s.

The DSCOVR satellite, owned by NOAA, was launched in 2015 and became the first deep space satellite that can observe and predict space weather. It can detect potentially dangerous weather such as solar wind and geomagnetic storms. This is what has given humanity the capability to make accurate and preemptive space weather forecasts since the late 2010s. [7]

In Europe, the first Meteosat geostationary operational meteorological satellite, Meteosat-1, was launched in 1977 on a Delta launch vehicle. The satellite was a spin-stabilised cylindrical design, 2.1 m in diameter and 3.2 m tall, rotating at approx. 100 rpm and carrying the Meteosat Visible and Infrared Imager (MVIRI) instrument. Successive Meteosat first generation satellites were launched, on European Ariane-4 launchers from Kourou in French Guyana, up to and including Meteosat-7 which acquired data from 1997 until 2017, operated initially by the European Space Agency and later, from 1995, by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites - also spin stabilised although physically larger and twice the mass of the first generation - were developed by ESA with European industry and in cooperation with EUMETSAT who then operate the satellites from their headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany with this same approach followed for all subsequent European meteorological satellites. Meteosat-8, the first MSG satellite, was launched in 2002 on an Ariane-5 launcher, carrying the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) and Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instruments, along with payloads to support the COSPAS-SARSAT Search and Rescue (SAR) and ARGOS Data Collection Platform (DCP) missions. SEVIRI provided an increased number of spectral channels over MVIRI and imaged the full-Earth disc at double the rate. Meteosat-9 was launched to complement Meteosat-8 in 2005, with the second pair consisting of Meteosat-10 and Meteosat-11 launched in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

The Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) programme launched its first satellite in 2022, and featured a number of changes over its predecessors in support of its mission to gather data for weather forecasting and climate monitoring. The MTG satellites are three-axis stabilised rather than spin stabilised, giving greater flexibility in satellite and instrument design. The MTG system features separate Imager and Sounder satellite models that share the same satellite bus, with a baseline of three satellites - two Imagers and one Sounder - forming the operational configuration. The imager satellites carry the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI), succeeding MVIRI and SEVIRI to give even greater resolution and spectral coverage, scanning the full Earth disc every ten minutes, as well as a new Lightning Imager (LI) payload. The sounder satellites carry the Infrared Sounder (IRS) and Ultra-violet Visible Near-infrared (UVN) instruments. UVN is part of the European Commission's Copernicus programme and fulfils the Sentinel-4 mission to monitor air quality, trace gases and aerosols over Europe hourly at high spatial resolution. Two MTG satellites - one Imager and one Sounder - will operate in close proximity from the 0-deg geostationary location over western Africa to observe the eastern Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while a second imager satellite will operate from 9.5-deg East to perform a Rapid Scanning mission over Europe. MTG continues Meteosat support to the ARGOS and Search and Rescue missions. MTG-I1 launched in one of the last Ariane-5 launches, with the subsequent satellites planned to launch in Ariane-6 when it enters service.

In 2006, the first European low-Earth orbit operational meteorological satellite, Metop-A was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit at 817 km altitude by a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. This operational satellite - which forms the space segment of the Eumetsat Polar System (EPS) - built on the heritage from ESA's ERS and Envisat experimental missions, and was followed at six-year intervals by Metop-B and Metop-C - the latter launched from French Guyana in a "Europeanised" Soyuz. Each carry thirteen different passive and active instruments ranging in design from imagers and sounders to a scatterometer and a radio-occultation instrument. The satellite service module is based on the SPOT-5 bus, while the payload suite is a combination of new and heritage instruments from both Europe and the US under the Initial Joint Polar System agreement between EUMETSAT and NOAA.

A second generation of Metop satellites (Metop-SG) is in advanced development with launch of the first satellite foreseen in 2025. As with MTG, Metop-SG will launch on Ariane-6 and comprise two satellite models to be operated in pairs in replacement of the single first generation satellites to continue the EPS mission.


These meteorological-satellite service, however, see more than clouds and cloud systems Weather Satellite.jpg
These meteorological-satellite service, however, see more than clouds and cloud systems

Observation is typically made via different 'channels' of the electromagnetic spectrum, in particular, the visible and infrared portions.

Some of these channels include: [8] [9]

Visible spectrum

Visible-light images from weather satellites during local daylight hours are easy to interpret even by the average person, clouds, cloud systems such as fronts and tropical storms, lakes, forests, mountains, snow ice, fires, and pollution such as smoke, smog, dust and haze are readily apparent. Even wind can be determined by cloud patterns, alignments and movement from successive photos. [10]

Infrared spectrum

The thermal or infrared images recorded by sensors called scanning radiometers enable a trained analyst to determine cloud heights and types, to calculate land and surface water temperatures, and to locate ocean surface features. Infrared satellite imagery can be used effectively for tropical cyclones with a visible eye pattern, using the Dvorak technique, where the difference between the temperature of the warm eye and the surrounding cold cloud tops can be used to determine its intensity (colder cloud tops generally indicate a more intense storm). [11] Infrared pictures depict ocean eddies or vortices and map currents such as the Gulf Stream which are valuable to the shipping industry. Fishermen and farmers are interested in knowing land and water temperatures to protect their crops against frost or increase their catch from the sea. Even El Niño phenomena can be spotted. Using color-digitized techniques, the gray shaded thermal images can be converted to color for easier identification of desired information.


The geostationary Himawari 8 satellite's first true-colour composite PNG image Himawari-8 true-color 2015-01-25 0230Z.png
The geostationary Himawari 8 satellite's first true-colour composite PNG image
The geostationary GOES-17 satellite's Level 1B Calibrated Radiances - True Colour Composite PNG image First Full Disk Image from GOES-17 as GOES West (40118037553).jpg
The geostationary GOES-17 satellite's Level 1B Calibrated Radiances - True Colour Composite PNG image

Each meteorological satellite is designed to use one of two different classes of orbit: geostationary and polar orbiting.


Geostationary weather satellites orbit the Earth above the equator at altitudes of 35,880 km (22,300 miles). Because of this orbit, they remain stationary with respect to the rotating Earth and thus can record or transmit images of the entire hemisphere below continuously with their visible-light and infrared sensors. The news media use the geostationary photos in their daily weather presentation as single images or made into movie loops. These are also available on the city forecast pages of (example Dallas, TX). [12]

Several geostationary meteorological spacecraft are in operation. The United States' GOES series has three in operation: GOES-15, GOES-16 and GOES-17. GOES-16 and-17 remain stationary over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, respectively. [13] GOES-15 was retired in early July 2019. [14]

The satellite GOES 13 that was previously owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) was transferred to the U.S. Space Force in 2019 and renamed the EWS-G1; becoming the first geostationary weather satellite to be owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. [15]

Russia's new-generation weather satellite Elektro-L No.1 operates at 76°E over the Indian Ocean. The Japanese have the MTSAT-2 located over the mid Pacific at 145°E and the Himawari 8 at 140°E. The Europeans have four in operation, Meteosat-8 (3.5°W) and Meteosat-9 (0°) over the Atlantic Ocean and have Meteosat-6 (63°E) and Meteosat-7 (57.5°E) over the Indian Ocean. China currently has four Fengyun (风云) geostationary satellites (FY-2E at 86.5°E, FY-2F at 123.5°E, FY-2G at 105°E and FY-4A at 104.5 °E) operated. [16] India also operates geostationary satellites called INSAT which carry instruments for meteorological purposes.

Polar orbiting

Computer-controlled motorized parabolic dish antenna for tracking LEO weather satellites. Parabolic-antenna-LEO.jpg
Computer-controlled motorized parabolic dish antenna for tracking LEO weather satellites.

Polar orbiting weather satellites circle the Earth at a typical altitude of 850 km (530 miles) in a north to south (or vice versa) path, passing over the poles in their continuous flight. Polar orbiting weather satellites are in sun-synchronous orbits, which means they are able to observe any place on Earth and will view every location twice each day with the same general lighting conditions due to the near-constant local solar time. Polar orbiting weather satellites offer a much better resolution than their geostationary counterparts due their closeness to the Earth.

The United States has the NOAA series of polar orbiting meteorological satellites, presently NOAA-15, NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 (POES) and NOAA-20 (JPSS). Europe has the Metop-A, Metop-B and Metop-C satellites operated by EUMETSAT. Russia has the Meteor and RESURS series of satellites. China has FY-3A, 3B and 3C. India has polar orbiting satellites as well.


Turnstile antenna for reception of 137 MHz LEO weather satellite transmissions SatelliteAntenna-137MHz.jpg
Turnstile antenna for reception of 137 MHz LEO weather satellite transmissions

The United States Department of Defense's Meteorological Satellite (DMSP) can "see" the best of all weather vehicles with its ability to detect objects almost as 'small' as a huge oil tanker. In addition, of all the weather satellites in orbit, only DMSP can "see" at night in the visual. Some of the most spectacular photos have been recorded by the night visual sensor; city lights, volcanoes, fires, lightning, meteors, oil field burn-offs, as well as the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis have been captured by this 720 kilometres (450 mi) high space vehicle's low moonlight sensor.

At the same time, energy use and city growth can be monitored since both major and even minor cities, as well as highway lights, are conspicuous. This informs astronomers of light pollution. The New York City Blackout of 1977 was captured by one of the night orbiter DMSP space vehicles.

In addition to monitoring city lights, these photos are a life saving asset in the detection and monitoring of fires. Not only do the satellites see the fires visually day and night, but the thermal and infrared scanners on board these weather satellites detect potential fire sources below the surface of the Earth where smoldering occurs. Once the fire is detected, the same weather satellites provide vital information about wind that could fan or spread the fires. These same cloud photos from space tell the firefighter when it will rain.

Some of the most dramatic photos showed the 600 Kuwaiti oil fires that the fleeing Army of Iraq started on February 23, 1991. The night photos showed huge flashes, far outstripping the glow of large populated areas. The fires consumed huge quantities of oil; the last was doused on November 6, 1991.


Infrared image of storms over the central United States from the GOES-17 satellite NOAA Shares First Infrared Imagery from GOES-17 (43904870711).gif
Infrared image of storms over the central United States from the GOES-17 satellite

Snowfield monitoring, especially in the Sierra Nevada, can be helpful to the hydrologist keeping track of available snowpack for runoff vital to the watersheds of the western United States. This information is gleaned from existing satellites of all agencies of the U.S. government (in addition to local, on-the-ground measurements). Ice floes, packs, and bergs can also be located and tracked from weather spacecraft.

Even pollution whether it is nature-made or human-made can be pinpointed. The visual and infrared photos show effects of pollution from their respective areas over the entire earth. Aircraft and rocket pollution, as well as condensation trails, can also be spotted. The ocean current and low level wind information gleaned from the space photos can help predict oceanic oil spill coverage and movement. Almost every summer, sand and dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa drifts across the equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean. GOES-EAST photos enable meteorologists to observe, track and forecast this sand cloud. In addition to reducing visibilities and causing respiratory problems, sand clouds suppress hurricane formation by modifying the solar radiation balance of the tropics. Other dust storms in Asia and mainland China are common and easy to spot and monitor, with recent examples of dust moving across the Pacific Ocean and reaching North America.

In remote areas of the world with few local observers, fires could rage out of control for days or even weeks and consume huge areas before authorities are alerted. Weather satellites can be a valuable asset in such situations. Nighttime photos also show the burn-off in gas and oil fields. Atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles have been taken by weather satellites since 1969. [17]

Non-imaging sensors

Not all weather satellites are direct imagers. Some satellites are sounders that take measurements of a single pixel at a time. They have no horizontal spatial resolution but often are capable or resolving vertical atmospheric layers. Soundings along the satellite ground track can still be gridded later to form maps.

International regulation

Weather observation satellite-system, NOAA-M spacecrft NOAA-M.jpg
Weather observation satellite-system, NOAA-M spacecrft

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a meteorological-satellite service (also: meteorological-satellite radiocommunication service) is – according to Article 1.52 of the ITU Radio Regulations (RR) [18] – defined as « An earth exploration-satellite service for meteorological purposes.»


This radiocommunication service is classified in accordance with ITU Radio Regulations (article 1) as follows:
Fixed service (article 1.20)

Frequency allocation

The allocation of radio frequencies is provided according to Article 5 of the ITU Radio Regulations (edition 2012). [19]

In order to improve harmonisation in spectrum utilisation, the majority of service-allocations stipulated in this document were incorporated in national Tables of Frequency Allocations and Utilisations which is with-in the responsibility of the appropriate national administration. The allocation might be primary, secondary, exclusive, and shared.

Example of frequency allocation
Allocation to services
Region 1 Region 2Region 3
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
8 817.50-8 821.50 MHz METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
and other services

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geostationary orbit</span> Circular orbit above Earths Equator and following the direction of Earths rotation

A geostationary orbit, also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), is a circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 km (22,236 mi) in altitude above Earth's equator, 42,164 km (26,199 mi) in radius from Earth's center, and following the direction of Earth's rotation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Earth observation satellite</span> Satellite specifically designed to observe Earth from orbit

An Earth observation satellite or Earth remote sensing satellite is a satellite used or designed for Earth observation (EO) from orbit, including spy satellites and similar ones intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, cartography and others. The most common type are Earth imaging satellites, that take satellite images, analogous to aerial photographs; some EO satellites may perform remote sensing without forming pictures, such as in GNSS radio occultation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite</span> US weather satellite series

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), operated by the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service division, supports weather forecasting, severe storm tracking, and meteorology research. Spacecraft and ground-based elements of the system work together to provide a continuous stream of environmental data. The National Weather Service (NWS) and the Meteorological Service of Canada use the GOES system for their North American weather monitoring and forecasting operations, and scientific researchers use the data to better understand land, atmosphere, ocean, and climate dynamics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">EUMETSAT</span> European intergovernmental organisation

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is an intergovernmental organisation created through an international convention agreed by a current total of 30 European Member States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Meteosat</span> Series of european weather satellites

The Meteosat series of satellites are geostationary meteorological satellites operated by EUMETSAT under the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP) and the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) program.

EUMETCast is a method of disseminating various meteorological data operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). The main purpose is the dissemination of EUMETSAT's own data, but various data from other providers are broadcast as well. EUMETCast is a contribution to GEONETCast and IGDDS and provides data for GEOSS and GMES.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Satellite imagery</span> Images taken from an artificial satellite

Satellite images are images of Earth collected by imaging satellites operated by governments and businesses around the world. Satellite imaging companies sell images by licensing them to governments and businesses such as Apple Maps and Google Maps.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fengyun</span> Chinese weather satellites

Fēngyún are China's meteorological satellites. Launched since 1988 into polar Sun-synchronous and geosynchronous orbit, each three-axis stabilized Fengyun satellite is built by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) and operated by the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). To date, China has launched twenty-one Fengyun satellites in four classes. Fengyun 1 and Fengyun 3 satellites are in polar, Sun-synchronous orbit and Low Earth orbit while Fengyun 2 and 4 are geosynchronous orbit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Advanced very-high-resolution radiometer</span>

The Advanced Very-High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument is a space-borne sensor that measures the reflectance of the Earth in five spectral bands that are relatively wide by today's standards. AVHRR instruments are or have been carried by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) family of polar orbiting platforms (POES) and European MetOp satellites. The instrument scans several channels; two are centered on the red (0.6 micrometres) and near-infrared (0.9 micrometres) regions, a third one is located around 3.5 micrometres, and another two the thermal radiation emitted by the planet, around 11 and 12 micrometres.

The Meteosat visible and infrared imager is the scientific instrument package on board the seven Meteosat first-generation geostationary meteorological satellites. This instrument is capable of capturing images in the visible, infrared, and water vapor regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MetOp</span> Series of European meteorological satellites

Metop is a series of three polar-orbiting meteorological satellites developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). The satellites form the space segment component of the overall EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), which in turn is the European half of the EUMETSAT / NOAA Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS). The satellites carry a payload comprising 11 scientific instruments and two which support Cospas-Sarsat Search and Rescue services. In order to provide data continuity between Metop and NOAA Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES), several instruments are carried on both fleets of satellites.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">GOES 1</span> NOAA weather satellite

GOES-1, designated GOES-A and SMS-C prior to entering service, was a weather satellite, developed by the NASA, operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was the first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) to be launched.

The Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) is a constellation of polar orbiting weather satellites funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) with the intent of improving the accuracy and detail of weather analysis and forecasting. The spacecraft were provided by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center oversaw the manufacture, integration and test of the NASA-provided TIROS satellites. The first polar-orbiting weather satellite launched as part of the POES constellation was the Television Infrared Observation Satellite-N (TIROS-N), which was launched on 13 October 1978. The final spacecraft, NOAA-19, was launched on 6 February 2009. The ESA-provided MetOp satellite operated by EUMETSAT utilize POES-heritage instruments for the purpose of data continuity. The Joint Polar Satellite System, which was launched on 18 November 2017, is the successor to the POES Program.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Meteosat 8</span>

Meteosat 8 is a weather satellite, also known as MSG 1. The Meteosat series are operated by EUMETSAT under the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP) and the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) program. Notable for imaging the first meteor to be predicted to strike the Earth, 2008 TC3. Launched 28 Aug 2002 by an Ariane V155, this European Meteorology satellite is in a Geostationary orbit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">High-resolution picture transmission</span>

Weather satellite pictures are often broadcast as high-resolution picture transmissions (HRPTs), color high-resolution picture transmissions (CHRPTs) for Chinese weather satellite transmissions, or advanced high-resolution picture transmissions (AHRPTs) for EUMETSAT weather satellite transmissions. HRPT transmissions are available around the world and are available from both polar and geostationary weather satellites. The polar satellites rotate in orbits that allow each location on Earth to be covered by the weather satellite twice per day while the geostationary satellites remain in one location at the equator taking weather images of the Earth from that location over the equator. The sensor on weather satellites that picks up the data transmitted in HRPT is referred to as an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joint Polar Satellite System</span> Constellation of American meteorology satellites

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous, environmental satellites. JPSS will provide the global environmental data used in numerical weather prediction models for forecasts, and scientific data used for climate monitoring. JPSS will aid in fulfilling the mission of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the Department of Commerce. Data and imagery obtained from the JPSS will increase timeliness and accuracy of public warnings and forecasts of climate and weather events, thus reducing the potential loss of human life and property and advancing the national economy. The JPSS is developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is responsible for operation of JPSS. Three to five satellites are planned for the JPSS constellation of satellites. JPSS satellites will be flown, and the scientific data from JPSS will be processed, by the JPSS – Common Ground System (JPSS-CGS).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">GOES-16</span> NOAA weather satellite

GOES-16, formerly known as GOES-R before reaching geostationary orbit, is the first of the GOES-R series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) operated by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). GOES-16 serves as the operational geostationary weather satellite in the GOES East position at 75.2°W, providing a view centered on the Americas. GOES-16 provides high spatial and temporal resolution imagery of the Earth through 16 spectral bands at visible and infrared wavelengths using its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). GOES-16's Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is the first operational lightning mapper flown in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft also includes four other scientific instruments for monitoring space weather and the Sun.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sentinel-4</span> Earth observation satellite

Sentinel-4 is a European Earth observation mission under development to support the European Union Copernicus Programme. It will focus on monitoring of trace gas concentrations and aerosols in the atmosphere to support operational services covering air-quality near-real time applications, air-quality protocol monitoring, and climate protocol monitoring. The specific objective of Sentinel-4 is to support this with a high revisit time over Europe.

The AN/UMQ-13(V) system or MARK IVB, is a meteorological data station that is owned and operated by the United States Air Force. This system allows meteorologists from around the globe to analyze and forecast meteorological data from polar orbiting satellites belonging to, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The MARK IVB also uses geostationary orbiting satellites to include Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), Japan's Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS), and Meteosat which is operated in cooperation between EUMETSAT and the European Space Agency.


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