The cooling problems with GOES-17 have been well-documented in this blog. But the *quality* of the images has always been just as good as GOES-16. The problem is, during the spring and fall equinoxes and around that time, there will be 2-4 hours of missing infrared/water vapor channel data at night. Even so, the quality and the amount of imagery will far surpass that of GOES-15, our current western satellite. See my previous entries for all of the details on data loss late at night for portions of the year.
However, because the imagery itself checks out to be of excellent quality like it’s GOES-16 sister, NOAA/NESDIS has informed AllisonHouse that it will send preliminary, non-operational ABI sensor data starting on August 28, at 15Z (10 AM Central Time). This includes all visible, IR, and “water vapor” channels!
Now, before you start drooling here, a couple of notes. Once the data starts flowing, it needs to flow to us, and it might not immediately; like GOES-16, the data set is massive and requires a ton of bandwidth, and examination. Second, our ace programmer Ryan Hickman spent 24 hours with no sleep getting GOES-16 on our website as soon as we got the data, but this time, I think he’ll actually eat and sleep when he finally does get the data. 🙂 Remember, GOES-17 is not over the western U.S. (it’s now at 89.5 degrees west) and there’s not much of our part of the hemisphere right now that isn’t covered already by GOES-16. So, during the testing phase, there will be a very large amount of overlap between the two satellites.
All of this to say: we’ll have GOES-17 data up and running before it becomes operational, as soon as reasonably possible, and again: once it is up and running at AllisonHouse, we’ll let you know. Once running, we do expect outages as they test things out on the NOAA side of things, as happened with GOES-16.
Having said that, I’m excited about the new satellite, and I hope you are, too! This satellite should still be much better than GOES-15, in spite of its difficulties for up to 4 hours at night with the ABI data. And, be sure to like our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute updates when we add the data to AllisonHouse Maps!