PCB Piezotronics has supplied Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company with accelerometers for use on NOAA’s GOES-16 weather satellite. GOES-16 is the first of four Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) next-generation weather satellites. The advanced spacecraft and instrument technology used on the GOES-R series will result in more timely and accurate forecasts and warnings. It will improve support for the detection and observations of meteorological phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property, and ultimately, economic health and development. GOES-16 launched in November 2016 and is currently undergoing on-orbit testing before being declared operational.
The GOES-R series spacecraft bus is three-axis stabilized and designed for 10 years of on-orbit operation preceded by up to five years of on-orbit storage. The satellite will be able to operate through periodic station-keeping and momentum adjust maneuvers, which will allow for near-continuous instrument observations. Other notable performance elements include vibration isolation for the Earth-pointed optical bench and high-speed spacecraft-to-instrument interfaces designed to maximize science data collection. The cumulative time that GOES-R series science data collection (including imaging) will be interrupted due to all momentum management, station-keeping, and yaw flip maneuvers will be under 120 minutes/year. This is a nearly two orders of magnitude improvement compared to the previous GOES satellites. The spacecraft will carry three classifications of instruments: nadir-pointing, solar-pointing, and in-situ.
The GOES-R nadir-pointing instruments include the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). These two instruments are Earth-pointing and are located on a highly stable, precision pointed platform that is dynamically isolated from the rest of the spacecraft. PCB’s accelerometers were used by Lockheed Martin to measure the dynamic environment of the instrument platform in flight, and to characterize that environment to improve the interpretation of instrument data.
PCB engineers supported Lockheed Martin during the design and build phase of the Model 393M90 accelerometer to meet the GOES-R satellite program requirements. Throughout this program, PCB and Lockheed Martin engineers worked as a team to ensure PCB Model 393M90 can withstand the harsh environment during and after satellite launch.
There are four GOES-R series spacecraft that are being built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. The GOES-S spacecraft is currently in test and will be launched in 2018, and the GOES-T and GOES-U spacecraft are in development. The GOES-R spacecraft are ushering in a new era of Earth and space weather observation for the United States.