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GOES I/M Sounder

NSSDCA ID: 1994-022A-02

Mission Name: GOES 8


The GOES Sounder is a 19-channel discrete-filter radiometer on the GOES-NEXT series of operational geostationary satellites (GOES-I through GOES-M). The GOES Sounder is designed to provide measurements that will allow the determination of surface skin temperature and the temperature and moisture profile of the atmosphere. The GOES Sounder will provide the National Weather Service (NWS) with frequent updating of atmospheric stability and moisture content for severe storm forecasting applications and will also provide temperature and moisture soundings to be used as input to numerical weather prediction models. The key features of the GOES Sounder design are: (1) high sensitivity in each channel for high quality soundings; (2) a small instantaneous geometric field-of-view (IGFOV) for incresaed capability for clear column sounding; (3) mulitple simultaneous samples and a high sampling rate; and (4) a full aperature blackbody calibration, space reference, and 13-bit quantization. The GOES Sounder measures radiation in four spectral bands: longwave, midwave, shortwave, and visible. Four detectors are simultaneously irradiated in each band providing output from four separate IGFOVs. The system samples four 8 km IGFOVs each 0.1 second through a rotating filter wheel providing data sampling at 10 steps per second. The scan system is totally digitally controlled permitting selective areas and time, providing high location accuracy, and increased dwell for sensitivity improvement. The scanner scans West-East in 10 km steps, dropping 40 km at the end of a line and returning East-West. The system allows stopping at one location for 0.1, 0.2, or 0.4 seconds in normal scan. A skip-line mode provides faster large area coverage. The scan control unit incorporates Inductosyn (as with the GOES Imager), which compensates for spacecraft and orbital motion. The Sounder consists of 7 longwave channels for temperature soundings (12.02-14.71 micrometers), 5 midwave channels for surface temperature, total ozone, and water vapor soundings (6.51-11.03 micrometers), 6 shortwave channels for temperature soundings and surface temperature (3.74-4.57 micrometers), and 1 visible channel for cloud detection at 0.969 micrometers. The Sounder location calibration system is aided by a star sensing capability at 0.8 micrometers for detecting 4th magnitude stars. The normal sounding area on the Earth is from 60 degrees N/S and 60 degrees E/W. A 3000 x 3000 km area is sounded in 42 minutes. The maximum time between energy reaching the sensor and data transmitted to the ground is 30 seconds. The output products are similar to those provided by the HIRS/2 and VISSR Atmospheric Sounder (VAS) instruments on previous GOES satellites.

Alternate Names

  • GOES8/GOESI/MSounder

Facts in Brief

Mass: 126.8 kg
Power (avg): 103 W
Bit rate (avg): 40 kbps

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



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