The way #VOST communicates weather hazards may change forever this weekend. #GOESR #NOAA #NASA


This weekend, the way VOST communicates weather hazards may change forever.

On Friday and Saturday November 18th and 19th 2016, NYVOST Team Lead Matt Green is part of the #NASAsocial program at the Kennedy Space Center, providing a behind the scenes look at the launch of NASA and NOAA’s GOES-R: “America’s Next-Generation Geostationary Weather Satellite”.

What is GOES-R?

GOES-R is the most advanced weather satellite ever launched, and its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) is a game changer for weather forecasting, hurricane tracking, and much more. It has been compared to upgrading “from black-and-white to high-definition TV”.

How is this relevant to Virtual Operations Support Teams?

The quality and speed of hazardous weather data reaching meteorologists is directly related to the quality and speed that we (#VOST) can communicate and amplify critical information to the public to help save lives. Like its predecessors, GOES-R will provide its enhanced weather data to The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network, which “is a direct service to users with weather forecasts, warnings, graphics, and other information directly from the National Weather Service (NWS) in near real time”.

The improvements aboard GOES-R include the ability to provide three times more spectral information, four times greater spatial resolution, and five times faster coverage. Scanning the entire Western Hemisphere in just five minutes, it’s #impressive.

These improvements will allow state and local officials (and of course, their respective VOSTs) to enhance their ability to make lifesaving decisions, and confidently communicate them to the public – for example, we’ll no longer need to wait for hurricane forecast changes in three hour increments, it’ll be available within minutes.

Also on board GOES-R is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, the first of its kind to be flown in geosynchronous orbit (an orbit that keeps the satellite over a specific location over the Earth). The ability to map lightning activity increases the accuracy in detection of severe weather, and can help reduce false alarms. Being in the industry of communicating hazards, we all understand the benefits of building trust within our constituency with more timely and accurate warnings.

In addition to lifesaving weather forecasting technologies, GOES-R will also contribute to the NOAA’s Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System to detect and locate ships and planes in distress almost anywhere in the world at any time and in almost any condition.

GOES-R is scheduled to launch this Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 5:42 p.m. EST. Follow the #GOESR hashtags this Friday & Saturday for everything you need to know about this revolutionary piece of technology & those responsible for its successful launch.

Join us on Twitter at @NYVOST, and @The_MattGreen to experience this event from an Emergency Manager’s perspective.