Kathryne Burton
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SeaSpace Terascan GOES Multispectral Animations
Elizabeth City State University
Spring 2014
Mentor: Dr. Malcom LeCompte

Project Website Link

Keywords:  GOES, weather satellites, image loops, image animations, near-real time Earth Environmental satellite coverage

Installation of the two SeaSpace Terascan Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) receivers in July, 2013 provides ECSU’s CERSER laboratory with a capability to capture and generate the most current image data available of the Earth’s Western Hemisphere environment.  The data is provided in an operational mode defined by the limitations of the GOES scanning imaging system.  The GOES system operations are scheduled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide various obligated environmental products, primarily to support numerical meteorological prediction services to different regions of the Western Hemisphere.   
A principal advantage of any remote sensing system located in Geostationary orbit lies in the ability to create ‘loops’ or animations that reveal changes that occur in the Earth’s environment.  The GOES imaging system or baseline imager, provides scanned images in five (5) wavelength bands, each of which provides different meteorological information to weather forecasters:

Channel 1: Visible (panchromatic, 0.52 to 0.71 μm), Image sequences provide high spatial resolution (1 km/pixel) animations of daytime cloud cover and wind velocities.

Channel 2: Short Wavelength Infrared (3.73 to 4.07 μm), Image sequences provide night cloud cover animations and wind velocities.

Channel 3: Middle-Wavelength Infrared (5.80 to 7.03 μm), Image sequences provide water vapor content animations and velocities.

Channel 4: long-wavelength or thermal Infrared (10.20 to 11.20 μm), Image sequences provide day and night cloud cover and water vapor animations and wind velocities and sea surface temperatures.

Channel 6: long-wavelength Infrared (13.00 to 13.70 μm), Image sequences provide day and night cloud cover animations and cloud heights. 
Spatial resolution of all Infrared channels is 4 km/pixel.

NOAA maintains two operational GOES systems in orbit; one at 75° West Longitude provides environmental coverage to the East Coast and Western Atlantic Ocean while the other at 135° West Longitude.  Providing imagery rarely more than 30 to 45 minutes time-late, the GOES system provides the most current continuously current coverage to the west coast and eastern Pacific Ocean.  
Data from the two operational GOES satellites and other Remote sensing satellites can be combined to create new data products that may have utility in a number of specialized applications.  The first step in creating innovative data products is to learn the functionality of the SeaSpace Terascan system.  
The GOES Data Products Team will learn to create remote sensing data animations using the Terascan system.  Their objective will be to create an animation of the visible disk of the Earth in all five channels and a similar animation at maximum spatial resolution of the Southeastern United States and especially the state of North Carolina and its coastal environment.  Most important will be creating animations at Visible wavelengths and mid and one of the thermal IR channels.