Melbourne, Florida-based Harris Corporation sent out the stunning image above in a press release earlier today. The high-resolution photograph, which features incredible cloud details, colors, and water features, was taken aboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 16 (GOES-16) satellite, which features Harris Corp’s Advanced Baseline Imager, a custom-built digital camera with image resolution of one-tenth of a square mile, or four times better than current imagers.
Additional filters, or spectral bands, on the camera will detect more information about volcanic ash, dust, clouds, winds, fires, rainfall rate, and hurricane intensity than previous generations of geostationary weather satellites. Critical information about severe weather events can come as fast as 30 seconds, which is five times faster than previous technology.
“Once the satellite is fully operational, the resolution of the imagery taken from the Harris ABI will be comparable to seeing a quarter from a mile away,” said Eric Webster, vice president and general manager, Harris Environmental Solutions.
The image was downloaded and processed by the Harris-built enterprise ground system, which controls the weather satellite and all of its six major instruments, including the imager. The ground system will also process the significant increase in new data, producing 1.75 terabytes of data per day for the National Weather Service and other users. In only three-and-a-half years, the data production from the satellite’s advanced baseline imager (ABI) will equal the total data production from 1975 through 2015 of all prior GOES imager and sounder data combined.
Expect a lot more stunning imagery from GOES-16 and Harris Corp. in the coming years. Here’s a larger resolution version of the same photo (click below to open the full image):