November 4th, 2013
Composite of GOES-15/GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)
The GOES-13 Sounder has been experiencing anomalies that manifest themselves as missing pixels since mid-Summer. The missing pixels apparently arise because of slight fluctuations in the speed of the sounder instrument filter wheel. The number of missing pixels per Sounder image peaked in late September, just after the Equinox, with up to 700 missing pixels (out of 63000) per Sounder image over CONUS. At present, missing pixels vary between 100 and 250, with a maximum typically around 2200 UTC and a minimum between 0600 and 1000 UTC. In the animation above, the missing pixels show as black; the GOES-15 Sounder data have no missing pixels.
Realtime GOES Sounder imagery is available at this link. The Sounder anomalies are present in all 19 of the GOES-13 spectral bands, as evident in the toggle below between an image in late September (when error counts were highest) and early November (when error counts were lower). GOES Engineers continue to monitor this situation and investigate possible solutions.
GOES-13 Sounder 19-band display, 1800 UTC 27 September and 1600 UTC 4 Nov 2013 (click image to enlarge)
September 16th, 2013
GOES Sounder DPI Lifted Index from 1300 UTC 15 September
The GOES-13 Sounder has been experiencing an increased number of unexpected scan line lengths. This was originally detected on 1 July 2013 and it has become more common since 12 September 2013. The anomaly is manifest in the data by occasional pixel gaps in all channels of the Sounder images. Some images show only a single gap (and therefore just one missing pixel); other images have several gaps. In the image above, the missing values are the black pixels just off the North Carolina coast (for example), or near the Mississippi River in southwestern Mississippi. Note that missing data only is present in the GOES-13 part of the domain. The GOES-15 signal is clean. The root cause of this error is under investigation. From NESDIS: “No telemetry violations have occurred, and all Sounder filter wheel telemetry data, including Filter wheel currents and period monitors, are within expected values.”
The missing pixels are also present in the real-time Sounder data available at CIMSS at this link. An example from September 15th is shown below. Or, click here for a composite (GOES-13/GOES-15) single-band image.
GOES Sounder DPI Lifted Index from 1300 UTC 15 September
A quick analysis at two times (0246 and 1446 UTC) suggests that prior to 28 August, errors per image were limited to 20 or so pixels. Between 28 August and 9 September, fewer than 100 pixels were affected each hour. Since 10 September, the number of pixels affected in each image has increased one some days to more than 200. There are nearly 64000 pixels in each sounder image, so the number of bad points remains a small percentage of the total.
September 10th, 2013
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images on 10 September (click image to play animation)
GOES-15, in service as GOES-West over the Equator at 135 W, has experienced navigation anomalies on each of the past three mornings, September 8, 9 and 10, 2013 (as noted here, for example). Navigation anomalies occur approximately between 0830 and 1100 UTC. GOES Engineers are investigating the source of the anomaly, which can be on the order of 40 km. The animation above is the shortwave infrared from Tuesday 10 September. Animations for 6, 7, 8 and 9 September are below. Note that even the 6 September and 7 September have small navigation issues.
(Update: From SATOPS: NOTE: GOES-15 (West) Image registration (alignment of images to earth grid coordinates) was shifted by approximately 40 kilometers on DOY251 (ed. note: 8 September) from 08:50z to 10:50z and shifted by approximately 25 kilometers on DOY252 & DOY253 (ed. note: 9 and 10 September) from 9:30z to 10:40z. The earth coordinate grid shift was due to a lack of available valid star data for predicting the proper attitude pointing profile around eclipse. The root cause is under investigation.) In other words, the Star Pointer was unable to find enough targets to produce accurate navigation. (Link)
Update, 11 September: The anomalies continued on 11 September, starting after the 0845 UTC image, peaking at the 1000 UTC image, and subsiding by 1045 UTC. Link.
Update, 17 September: Large navigation anomalies were not present overnight.
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images on 6 September (click image to play animation)
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images on 7 September (click image to play animation)
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images on 8 September (click image to play animation)
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images on 9 September (click image to play animation)
September 9th, 2013
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)
The Morgan Fire began burning in the Mount Diablo State Park northeast of San Francisco during the afternoon hours on 08 September 2013, which caused the evacuation of dozens of homes near the fire. McIDAS images of 4-km resolution GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR data (above; click image to play animation; also available as a .mp4 file) revealed that the fire “hot spot” (red color enhancement) first appeared on the 21:30 UTC (2:30 PM local time) image. The fire appeared to “settle down” for a few hours after sunset, but then there was an apparent flare-up of the fire from 04:00 – 06:30 UTC.
One thing to note on the GOES-15 shortwave IR animation above is that there was a significant Image Navigation and Registration (INR) anomaly during the 08:45 – 10:41 UTC period. An AWIPS 1-km resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS 3.74 µm shortwave IR image was available at 09:24 UTC (during the GOES-15 INR anomaly) — a comparison of this VIIRS image with the closest available GOES-15 shortwave IR image (below) demonstrates the value of higher spatial resolution VIIRS data to aid in a more accurate determination of the actual fire size and location.
Suomi NPP VIIRS 3.74 µm and GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images
Hot spots associated with the ongoing Rim Fire — so far the 3rd-largest fire on record in California — can also be seen about 100 miles to the east-southeast.