BackForward Satellite Programme: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - 2nd generation 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of eight operational meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit.
  • Follow-on of the GOES first generation series.  Main developments: 3-axis stabilisation and separation of the imaging and sounding instruments.
  • NOAA responsible of requirements, funding, development of the ground segment and operations.  NASA responsible of development of the space segment.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time of the satellites is 5 years.
  • Two satellites at any time: GOES-East at 75°W and GOES-West at 135°W.
  • The replacement policy is based on one satellite in hot standby at 105°W as common backup.  Possible spare satellites are used for contingency purposes (South America coverage and, in one circumstance, Western Pacific).
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • CDA (Command and Data Acquisition station) to receive all data transmitted in real-time.  Main locations: Wallops Island (Virginia) and, as backup, Greenbelt (Maryland) and Fairbanks (Alaska); solar instrument data to Boulder (Colorado).
  • PDR (Processed Data Relay) to broadcast pre-processed images and sounding data in near-real-time (NRT) by using a GOES Variable Data Format (GVAR).
  • MDL (Multiuse Data Link) to transmit diagnostic data including Space weather data. 
  • WEFAX (Weather Facsimile) to broadcast a selection of images in analogue form.
  • LRIT (Low Rate Information Transmission), digital follow-on of WEFAX since 2005.
  • DCIS (Data Collection and Interrogation Service) to relay messages from DCP (Data Collection Platform) either at fixed time or upon interrogation.
  • GEOS&R (Geostationary Search & Rescue) to relay emergency signals to Local User Terminals (LUT).
  • EMWIN (Emergency Managers Weather Information Network) to disseminate processed data (updated to EMWIN-N in 2006).
Programme lifetime 1994 - 2027