GOES-13 Back in Business

GOES-13 Back in Business

The geostationary weather satellite that suffered a malfunction last month is back in business according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The sounder and imager instruments on Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-13 were turned off September 23 when they experienced unexpected problems.  NOAA said yesterday the cause was “a vibration from aging lubricant in the sounder instrument.”

NOAA operates weather satellites both in polar orbits and in geostationary orbit.  The geostationary satellites are particularly useful for monitoring hurricane development in tropical ocean regions.   NOAA keeps two such satellites — GOES East and GOES West — positioned to cover the ocean areas that could spawn storms affecting the United States.   GOES-13 has been in the GOES East position since 2010.

NOAA keeps spare satellites in orbit just in case problems arise and NOAA began moving its GOES-14 on-orbit spare into the GOES East position.  Now that GOES-13 has been returned to service, GOES-14 will return to its spare position.

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