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GOES-R Series Satellites

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the current generation of geostationary weather satellites. It has significantly improved capacity to detect and observe environmental phenomena, resulting in improved public safety, more accurate forecasts, and better protection of property.

GOES-16, the first satellite in this series, replaced GOES-13 as the operational GOES-East Satellite on December 18, 2017, and GOES-17 became operational on February 12, 2019. GOES-T and GOES-U are planned to be launched in the future and will extend the availability of the operational GOES satellite system through 2036.

Program History

Artist rendition of GOES-16 positioned about 22,000 miles from Earth.

AIRS and CLASS

Products from the Advanced Baseline Images (ABI) and Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) are available through the Archive Information Request System (AIRS) and the Comprehensive Large Array Data Stewardship System (CLASS).

Near real-time data subscriptions are also available through CLASS. Registered users, once logged in, will see a link to “subscriptions” on the left side navigation column. Follow the link to begin setting up your subscription. 

Subscription Instructions

GOES-R Space Weather Data

The GOES-R Space Weather product page provides access to level-2 and Level-1b data from the GOES-16 and GOES-17 missions. 

Space Weather Page

Cloud Access

Many of the GOES-R datasets are available on several cloud platforms through the NOAA Big Data Program:

  • Advanced Baseline Imager Level 1b Radiance Data and the majority of the baseline Level 2 products
  • Geostationary Lightning Mapper Level 2 Data

Documentation

GOES-R Series Documents

Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI)

The primary GOES-R instrument for imaging Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment is the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), which is a significant upgrade from previous GOES Imagers. ABI captures visual data with 16 different spectral bands compared to five on the previous generation GOES satellites. The ABI includes two visible channels, four near-infrared channels, and ten infrared channels, providing three times more spectral information, four times greater spatial resolution, and more than five times the temporal coverage. In less than four years, the ABI instrument has produced more data than the total data production from the previous generations of GOES satellites in operation from 1975–2017.

Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM)

GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument is a single-channel, near-infrared optical transient detector that can detect the momentary changes in an optical scene, indicating the presence of lightning. GLM measures total lightning (in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud, and cloud-to-ground) activity continuously over the Americas and adjacent ocean regions with near-uniform spatial resolution of approximately 10 km.

Product NameDescription/MetadataGOES 16 DocumentationGOES 17 DocumentationAccess/Order
L1b Radiances (RAD)Level 1b data for 16 visible, near-infrared, and infrared spectral bands from .5km to 2km spatial resolution. Temporal frequency on average is 5 minutes. GOES-R products are generated using radiance data (see metadata). Please review GOES-17 ABI Performance due to cooling system issue.
GOES-16

Public from 2/28/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Cloud and Moisture Imagery Products (CMIP)The Cloud and Moisture Imagery products are derived from the Radiance data into reflectance values within the visible bands and brightness values and brightness temperatures for the infrared bands.  These products are used to generate an array of products (see metadata).
GOES-16

Public from 2/28/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Aerosol Detection Product (ADP)The Aerosol Detection product employs multiple spectral bands to detect presence of aerosols in the atmosphere.
GOES-16

Public from 5/24/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD)The Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product utilizes several spectral bands to measure the reflectance properties of cloud-free pixels at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). These properties are fed into aerosol models to compute the surface reflectance and aerosol properties at the surface.
GOES-16

Public from 5/24/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Clear Sky Masks (ACM)The Clear Sky Mask algorithm uses the high spatial and temporal resolution of the ABI visible, near-infrared, and infrared bands to produce a cloud classification for each pixel: cloudy, probably cloudy, clear, or probably clear. This information is used extensively by downstream level-2 product algorithms.
GOES-16

Public from 4/19/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

ORder
Cloud Optical Depth (COD)Cloud Optical Depth uses both the visible and the near-infrared bands during the daytime and a combination of infrared bands for night-time detection. This product, together with the Cloud Particle Size Distribution product, provides valuable information about the radiative properties of clouds.
GOES-16

Public from 6/8/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

ORder
Cloud Particle Size Distribution (CPS)The Cloud Effective Particle Size is  computed using the same algorithm that estimates the Cloud Optical Depth. The algorithm uses visible and near-infrared bands during the day and the infrared bands at night to retrieve cloud particle size.
GOES-16

Public from 6/8/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018 

ORder
Cloud Top Height (ACHA)The Cloud Top Height algorithm will use ABI infrared bands to simultaneously retrieve Cloud Top Height, Cloud Top Temperature, and Cloud Top Pressure for each cloudy pixel. These cloud products are a prerequisite for generating other downstream products that include the Cloud Layer product, Cloud Optical/Microphysical products, and the Derived Motion Wind products.
GOES-16

Public from 5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Cloud Top Phase (ACTP)The Cloud Type algorithm use four ABI infrared spectral bands to determine different cloud phases: warm (>0C) liquid water, supercooled liquid water, mixed, and ice. The Cloud Phase product is a prerequisite for generating other downstream products that include Cloud Height, Cloud Optical Properties, Fog Detection/Depth, and Aircraft Icing.
GOES-16

Public from 5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

ORder
Cloud Top Pressure (CTP)The Cloud Top Height algorithm uses ABI infrared bands to simultaneously retrieve Cloud Top Height, Temperature, and Pressure for each cloudy pixel. These cloud products are a prerequisite for other downstream products that include the Cloud Layer, Cloud Optical/Microphysical, and the Derived Motion Wind products.
GOES-16

Public from 5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

ORder
Cloud Top Temperature (ACHT)The Cloud Top Height algorithm uses ABI infrared bands to simultaneously retrieve Cloud Top Height, Temperature, and Pressure for each cloudy pixel. These cloud products are a prerequisite for other downstream products that include the Cloud Layer, Cloud Optical/Microphysical, and the Derived Motion Wind products.
GOES-16

Public from 5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Derived Motion Winds (DMW)The Derived Motion Winds product is derived from a sequence of visible or IR spectral bands to track the motion of cloud features and water vapor gradients. The resulting atmospheric motion estimates are assigned heights by using the Cloud Height product.
GOES-16

Public from 6/9/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Derived Stability Indices (DSI)The Derived Stability Indices, which include Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), Lifted Index (LI), Totals Total (TT), Showalter Index (SI), and the K-Index (KI) are computed from retrieved atmospheric moisture and temperature profiles.
GOES-16

Public from
5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Downward Shortwave Radiation (DSR): SurfaceThe Downward Shortwave Radiation (DSR) product is an estimate of the total amount of shortwave radiation (both direct and diffuse) that reaches the Earth’s surface. The product algorithm uses visible and infrared spectral channels, as well data regarding albedo and atmospheric composition, to compute the DSR at the Earth’s surface. DSR has many general and applied science applications.
GOES-16

Public from
6/23/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Fire/Hot Spot Characterization (FDC)The Fire/Hot Spot Characterization product uses both visible and IR spectral bands to locate fires and retrieve sub-pixel fire characteristics.
GOES-16

Public from
5/24/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Land Surface Albedo (LSA)Land Surface Albedo (LSA) is defined as the ratio between outgoing and incoming irradiance at the earth surface. The LSA is a shortwave broadband blue-sky albedo over wavelengths between 0.4 and 3.0 µm. As the key component of surface energy budget, LSA can be used to drive/calibrate/validate climatic, mesoscale atmospheric, hydrological, and land surface models.
GOES-16

Public from TBD

GOES-17

Public from TBD

 
Land Surface Bidirectional Reflectance Factor (BRF)The land surface bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF), also referred to as surface reflectance (SR), is a ratio between outgoing radiance at one given direction and incoming radiance at another given direction (same or different from the incoming direction). BRF is produced at the following wavelengths: 0.47 µm, 0.64 µm, 0.86 µm, 1.61 µm, and 2.26 µm.
GOES-16

Public from T11/1/2021

GOES-17

Public from T11/1/2021

 
Land Surface (Skin) Temperature (LST)The Land Surface Temperature (LST) product will be derived from ABI longwave infrared spectral channels and is expected to be used in a number of applications in hydrology, meteorology, and climatology.
GOES-16

Public from
5/24/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Legacy Vertical Moisture Profile (LVMP)The Legacy Vertical Moisture product estimates levels of moisture throughout the troposphere, providing a vertical profile of moisture.
GOES-16

Public from 5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Legacy Vertical Temperature Profile (LVTP)The Legacy Vertical Temperature Profile product will estimate levels of temperature throughout the troposphere. This product will be a continuation of the operational sounder product available on the current GOES satellites.
GOES-16

Public from
5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Rainfall Rate Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (RRQPE)The ABI Rainfall Rate algorithm generates the baseline Rainfall Rate product from ABI IR brightness temperatures and is calibrated in real time against microwave-derived rain rates to enhance accuracy. The algorithm generates estimates of the instantaneous rainfall rate at each ABI IR pixel.
GOES-16

Public from
9/13/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Reflected Shortwave Radiation (RSR)The Reflected Shortwave Radiation product measures the total amount of shortwave radiation that exits the Earth through the top of the atmosphere. The algorithm will use several spectral channels in both the visible and infrared spectrum to measure the Reflected Shortwave Radiation.
GOES-16

Public from 6/23/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order
Sea Surface Temperature (SST)Sea Surface Temperature (SST) for each cloud-free pixel over water The SST algorithm employed on GOES-R will use hybrid physical-regression retrieval in order to produce a more accurate product.
GOES-16

Public from
5/24/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Snow CoverThe fractional Snow Cover algorithm uses GOES-R ABI spectral information in the visible and near-visible portion of the energy spectrum to retrieve sub-pixel fractional Snow Cover and grain size estimates via computationally efficient spectral mixture modeling.N/AN/A
Order
Total Precipitable Water (TPW)The Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product is computed from the retrieved atmospheric moisture profiles and represents the total integrated moisture in the atmospheric column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. (See Metadata)
GOES-16

Public from
5/16/2017

GOES-17

Public from
8/27/2018

Order
Volcanic Ash: Detection and HeightThe Volcanic Ash product algorithm utilizes five GOES-R ABI infrared channels to automatically determine the height and mass loading properties of any pixel found to contain volcanic ash.
GOES-16

Public from 9/13/2017

GOES-17
Order

Product NameDescription/MetadataGOES 16 DocumentationGOES 17 DocumentationAccess/Order
Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM)The GLM product contains cloud-to-ground and inter-cloud lightning data with a spatial resolution of 8 to 14 km and organized into a hierarchy of earth-located lightning radiant energy measures including events, groups, and flashes. Lightning events are detected by the instrument. Lightning groups are a collection of one or more lightning events that satisfy temporal and spatial coincidence thresholds. Similarly, lightning flashes are a collection of one or more lightning groups that satisfy temporal and spatial coincidence thresholds. The product includes the relationship among lightning events, groups, and flashes, and the area coverage of lightning groups and flashes (See metadata).
GOES-16

Public from
7/5/2017

GOES-17

Public from 8/27/2018

Order

How do I access real time data from GOES-16?

Publicly available access methods:

  • Global Telecommunications System (GTS)
  • NOAA satellite direct broadcast services and websites
  • The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), for data from space weather instruments have been declared provisional

Some GOES-R Series data is also available through cloud service providers that partner with NOAA through the Big Data Program to enable quick access to larger volumes of satellite data.

How do I set up a subscription to get near real-time GOES-16 data?

CLASS provides access to near real-time data (30 minutes to two hours after observation time) through an FTP subscription service. To subscribe, register with CLASS. After registering, use the “subscriptions” link on the left side of the user profile page to set up your subscriber preferences.

More Information

Can I access pre-operational GOES-16 test data?

No, it is restricted and will not show up in any search or access portals. To request access, email the CLASS Help Desk. Include your CLASS account identification and a brief summary of your work. The CLASS Support Team will notify you if your request is approved.

How do I access larger quantities of GOES-16 data?

CLASS maximum order limits have increased since the beginning of GOES-16 operations. All users can access up to 10,000 files per order for ABI and GLM products. The NCEI AIRS web access system is limited to 1,000 files per order. Some larger datasets are also available on cloud services through the NOAA Big Data Program. Data for space weather instruments (EXIS, MAG, SEISS, and SUVI) is available on the GOES-R Space Weather Page.

Is there a way to place a bulk order outside of using the web ordering system?

Yes. Manual bulk orders are available on a case by case basis, but we need to know the scope of your project and minimum data requirements. These types of inquiries can be submitted to the CLASS Help Desk. For large orders, consider using one of the cloud providers under the NOAA Big Data Program.

However, we encourage ABI and GLM users to place orders through the web ordering system at either CLASS or NCEI AIRS. The system may take days or weeks to process large orders. Also, take time to transfer your data after the order is fulfilled, because the files will expire after 96 hours. 

Why do some file names have the pattern “s20000011200000_e20000011200000? Are these files valid?

These files are valid for your date and time, but may indicate that you don’t have a complete scan. The time used on your search is the time of the creation of the files - usually within minutes of the actual observation time missing on the file. The problem that created these file patterns was resolved in 2017, but there are still affected files within the GOES-R archive.

Can I place a bulk order without using the web ordering system?

We encourage ABI and GLM users to place orders through the web ordering system at either CLASS or NCEI AIRS. There is no official limit to the number of orders you can place in a day, the system may take days or weeks to process large orders. Also, make time to transfer your data after the order is fulfilled, because the files will expire after 96 hours. 

Manual bulk orders are available on a case by case basis. We will need to know the scope of your project and minimum data requirements for successful completion of your project. These types of inquiries can be submitted to the CLASS Help Desk.

Data from space weather instruments (EXIS, MAG, SEISS, and SUVI) can be downloaded, aggregated, and/or tarred data from spinning disk once these instruments have been declared provisional.

How can I open/display GOES-R data?

Any GOES-R data can be opened with any netCDF application, including the NOAA Weather and Climate Toolkit.

How do I handle unsigned integers larger than 8 bits?

This is an issue that affects multiple instruments on GOES-R Series and a pilot fix is being developed. The classic model for NetCDF does not support unsigned integers larger than 8 bits. Many of the variables in GOES-R Series data files are unsigned integers that are either 16-bits or 32-bits. So, until a fix is achieved, we recommend using the following process to convert: Retrieve the variable data (using low level routines). If there is an attribute “_Unsigned” then cast the variable data to unsigned. This step must be completed before applying scale_factor and add_offset values to convert from scaled integer to science units. For example, when reading the NetCDF files, one has to manually read in the event lat/lon as an unsigned integer (using low level routines), and then manually take care of the scale and offset.

 

 

Why does there appear to be data dropouts on my images prior to September 2017?

The GOES ground system was experiencing intermittent spikes in the data volume as it was being processed before delivery to CLASS. These spikes resulted in random data dropouts. Direct readout users were exempt from this condition, as the data path is different.

Why do some Meso scan files only contain a single point?

These blank files usually occur near the spring and fall equinoxes when the angle of the sun allows it to enter the ABI viewing range. This area is called the Solar Avoidance Zone, where the ABI observation swaths are purposely truncated and all data values within this zone are given fill values. Occasionally, an entire Meso scan falls completely within the Solar Avoidance Zone. This makes the geolocation and other file metadata to be erroneous due to the lack of any valid observational data in the file.

How do I calculate Solar Zenith Angle (SZA) and Local Zenith Angle (LZA)?

The methodologies, provided by the GOES-R Program Office, are located in the following documentation: 

Selection advised for ABI L2+ Product Data searches only

*Mode 6 replaced Mode 3 as the operational flex mode.

Data Type NameData Type DescriptionABI ChannelABI Scan SectorABI ModeSatellite
RADABI L1b RadiancesC01—C16M1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
CMIPABI L2+ Cloud and Moisture Imagery (single-band)C01—C16M1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
ACHAABI L2+ Cloud Top HeightN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
ACHTABI L2+ Cloud Top TemperatureN/AM1,M2,F3,4,6G16,G17
ACMABI L2_ Clear Sky MasksN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
ACTPABI L2+ Cloud Top PhaseN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
ADPABI L2+ Aerosol DetectionN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
AODABI L2+ Aerosol Optical DepthN/AC,F3,4,6G16,G17
CODABI L2+ Cloud Optical DepthN/AC,F3,4,6G16,G17
CPSABI L2+ Cloud Particle Size DistributionN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
CTPABI L2+ Cloud Top PressureN/AC,F3,4,6G16,G17
DMWABI L2+ Derived Motion from cloud topes (bands 2,4,8,9,10, and 14
  • C01,C07,C08,
  • C09,C10,C14
M1,M2,CF3,4,6G16,G17
DMWVABI L2+ Derived Motion Winds from water vapor (band 8 only)C08C,F3,4,6G16,G17
DSIABI L2+ Derived Stability IndicesN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
DSRABI L2+ Downward Shortwave Radiation (Surface)N/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
FDCABI L2+ Fire/HotSpot CharacterizationN/AC,F3,4,6G16,G17
FSCABI L2+ Snow CoverN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
HIEABI L2+ Hurricane Intensity Estimate (Full Disk) 2km resolutionN/AN/A3,4,6G16,G17
LSTABI L2+ Land Surface Temperature (Skin)N/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
LVMPABI L2+ Legacy Vertical Moisture ProfileN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
LVTPABI L2+ Legacy Vertical Temperature ProfileN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
MCMIPABI L2+ Cloud and Moisture Imagery (multi-band)N/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
RRQPEABI L2+ Rainfall Rate / QPEN/AF3,4,6G16,G17
RSRABI L2+ Reflected Shortwave Radiation (TOA)N/AC,F3,4,6G16,G17
SSTABI L2+ Sea Surface Temperature (Skin)N/AF3,4,6G16,G17
TPWABI L2+ Total Precipitable WaterN/AM1,M2,C,F3,4,6G16,G17
VAAABI L2+ Volcanic Ash (Detection and Height)N/AF3,4,6G16,G17

Selection advised

ABI ChannelCentral WavelengthNominal Resolution KM)Channel TypeUses
C010.471"Blue" BandVisible
C020.640.5"Red" BandVisible
C030.861"Veggie" BandNear-IR
C041.372"Cirrus" BandNear-IR
C051.62"Snow/Ice" BandNear-IR
C062.22"Cloud Particle Size" BandNear-IR
C073.92"Shortwave Window" BandIR (with reflected daytime Component)
C086.22"Upper-Level Tropospheric Water Vapor" BandIR
C096.92"Mid-Level Tropospheric Water Vapor" BandIR
C107.32"Lower-Level Water Vapor" BandIR
C118.42"Cloud-Top Phase" BandIR
C129.62"Ozone" BandIR
C1310.32"Clean" Longwave Window BandIR
C1411.22Longwave Window BandIR
C1512.32"Dirty" Longwave Window BandIR
C1613.32"CO2" Longwave Window BandIR

Selection Advised

Scan SectorDescriptionFiles/day/satellite/channel by mode*
CContinental U.S. (CONUS) Scan288 (Modes 3, 4, and 6)
FFull Disk Scan
  • 96 (in Mode 3)
  • 288 (in Mode 4)
  • 144 (in Mode 6)
M1Mesoscale Region #11440 (in Mode 3 only)
M2Mesoscale Region #21440 (in Mode 3 only)

Best to select all modes for all scans

M3, M6Mode 3 or 6 (mostly in effect, includes meso)
M4Mode 4 (FD scans every 5 minutes, no meso scans)

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