Weather Satellites and Orbits



Dr. Verner Suomi
Dr. Verner E. Suomi
[Visit Suomi Virtual Museum]

In 1957, the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik initiated our exciting exploration of space and changed the course of technology. The United States soon followed with its own satellite launches. In 1959, scientists at the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted pioneering meteorological satellite experiments under the direction of Dr. Verner E. Suomi, now known as the Father of Satellite Meteorology.

Since the 1960 launch of Tiros I, weather satellites have been our "eyes in the sky". Today, the ubiquitous nature of satellite technology augments every aspect of modern life while promising ever-increasing capabilities for stewardship during the 21st century.

In this module, you will learn about:

  1. Satellite Orbits
    • Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)
    • Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES)
  2. Remote Sensing Satellite Instruments
    • Radiometers
    • Sounders
  3. Satellite Images
    • POES Images
    • GOES Images
  4. Math and Physics Behind Satellite Technology
    • Newton's Laws of Gravity
    • Kepler's Laws of Motion