GOES-T/18 Transition to Operations

GOES-West Transition Plan – Swap of GOES-17/18

GOES-17 ABI has been operating with a Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) Anomaly for its entire lifetime which results in degraded imagery during four warm periods of each year.

Recent anomalies have caused further challenges in regulating the ABI Focal Plane Module (FPM) temperatures, resulting in additional warming and image degradation

  • On July 9, 2021 (DOY 190), the GOES-17 ABI experienced a reset due to a communication anomaly between ABI and the spacecraft. The ABI loop heat pipes were stalled for ~1 hour.
  • On July 22-23, 2021 (DOY 203/204), the GOES-17 spacecraft experienced an anomalous onboard computer reset and the ABI appropriately defaulted to safe mode. The ABI loop heat pipes were off for ~24 hours.
  • The current FPM temperature trends are expected to persist indefinitely, effectively accelerating the expected rate of image degradation by ~2 years.
  • An annual net increase of ~1 K per year is also still expected for coming years.
    • Employment of multiple mitigations: Wider calendar use of cooling timeline adjustment to FPM set point temp

Transition plan swaps GOES-17 with GOES-18 as the operational GOES-West satellite
• Assumes successful launch and checkout of GOES-T/18
• Incorporates early drift of GOES-18 to the West operational longitude
• Allows for early operational use of GOES-18 ABI after Beta maturity is achieved
• Transition plan incorporates RF conflict mitigation between GOES-17/18 X-band and T&C uplinks/downlinks
Users do not need to re-point antennas
• GOES-18 will be drifted to 136.8W to complete instrument PLT activities
• 0.4 deg offset from GOES-17 allows X-band RDL downlink from both G17/G18
• 0.2 deg offset from 137.0W meets ground product generation requirements
• Both GOES-17 and GOES-18 images will be re-mapped to 137.0W
• GOES-18 ABI data available to support August GOES-17 ABI warm period
• GOES-18 ABI data available via Cloud interface and interleaving with GOES-17 nonABI product data
• After the operational transition, GOES-18 is nudged over to 137.2W
• GOES-17 drifted to 105W and placed in on-orbit storage.

Product Data Interleaving Background

• NWS requested that the GOES-R Program distribute beta GOES-T ABI products during August 2022 warm season
• Interleaving is a method that allows the GOES-R GS to merge data from multiple satellites into a single data processing flow
– Data to AWIPS and GRB uplink can be configured to contain a mixture of data from GOES-17 Non-ABI and/or GOES-T/18 ABI
– Will present to the end-user as a single GOES-West stream
• When interleaving all product metadata will be maintained so the original source spacecraft designator will remain intact
– Users will always be able to determine which satellite was used to generate the data being reviewed

Full PDF of the Transition to Operations can be downloaded here: GOES-T Transition to Operations

What this means for end users

From March 1st, 2022 to July 25th, 2022, GOES-T will undergo testing calibration and verification of all systems (with Launch still slated for 3/1/2022.) First ABI Image (Vis & IR) @ 89.5W then GOES-18 will Drift from 89.5W to 136.8W

From August 1st, 2022 to Sept 6th, 2022 GOES T at 136.8° Imagery will be interleaved with GOES 17 Imagery.

October 3rd, 2023, GOES T full GRB will be Relayed via GOES 17

October 4th to October 11th, 2023 GOES T will be drifted to 137.2°

October 12th, 2023 End GOES T data relay through GOES 17 RF
GOES-18 BEGINS Nominal Distribution
• End G-18 GRB relay through G-17
• Begin G-18 GRB broadcast / nominal distribution
• SAR/DCS services transitioned to G-18

GOES-17 drift to 105°W followed by on orbit storage mode

The GOES T/18 Satellite is currently scheduled for launch on March 1, 2022.

The plan assumes a successful launch and checkout of the GOES-T/18 Satellite. It incorporates an early drift of GOES-18 to the West orbital slot and allows for early operational use of GOES-18 ABI to supplement GOES-17 ABI imagery.

Key Dates:
Launch: March 1, 2022
Post-Launch Checkout Part 1 at 89.5 W: Starts March 24, 2022
Drift to 136.8 W: May 16 – June 6, 2022
Post-Launch Checkout Part 2 at 136.8 W: Starts June 7, 2022
Interleaving GOES-18 ABI through GOES-17 GRB: August 1 – September 6, 2022
Instrument and product tests: September 6 – December 12, 2022
GOES-West Operations Declaration January 3, 2023

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