A View of the Development of Geostationary Imagers through the lens of BAMS

May 14th, 2020 |

A collection of 60 BAMS covers spanning the years, to highlight the rapid advance of imaging from the geostationary orbit, is shown above (a version that loops more slowly can be seen here). The first cover is the first of BAMS, in January of 1920, while the second, from January of 1957 is the first time artificial ‘satellite’ was in a title of a BAMS article. The third image, from November of 1957, is a remarkable article on potential uses of satellites. This included both qualitative uses: (1) Clouds, (2) Cloud Movements, (3) Drift of Atmospheric Pollutants, (4) State of the Surface of the Sea (or of Large Lakes), (5) Visibility or Atmospheric Transparency to Light — and quantitative uses: (1) Albedo, (2) Temperature  of  a  Level  at  or  Near  the Tropopause, (3) Total Moisture Content., (4) Total  Ozone  Content, (5) Surface  (Ground-Air Interface) Temperature, and (6) Snow Cover. Early covers showcase rockets, balloons and high-altitude aircraft to prepare the way to human space travel (Gemini, Apollo, etc.), polar-orbiters (TIROS, NIMBUS, VHRR, NOAA, etc.) and finally geostationary orbit (ATS-1, ATS-3, SMS, GOES, Meteosat, INSAT, Himawari, etc.).

Reasons to look back at the BAMS covers:

Interactive web page, with links to the original “front matter”.

Montage of select BAMS covers

Montage of select BAMS covers

Note: All cover images are from the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

What has the Large Iceberg (A68) been up to this year?

March 31st, 2020 |

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A very large iceberg broke off the Larsen-C Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in July 2017 (recall this CIMSS Satellite Blog post). While NOAA’s GOES-16 ABI visible sensors may not be ideal, they can monitor the iceberg’s location if the cloud cover is not too thick. The animation above shows the first 31 days of 2020, with just one image per day. More information from the National Ice Center.

H/T to @annamaria_84 for this tweet using Sentinel3 images:

 

———–Update————————————-

Here’s a similar loop (mp4), but showing hourly GOES-16 “natural color” (composite) imagery, click to play animation:

GOES-17 ABI Temperature Data Quality Flags (TDQF) thresholds updated

October 2nd, 2019 |

Top: Thumbnails of GOES-17 and GOES-16 ABI Band 12 (9.6 µm) on August 1, 2019. Bottom: Time series of GOES-17 minus GOES-16 brightness temperature for a region located between the two satellites. Also plotted is the GOES-17 Focal Plane Temperature. The reduced duration of the GOES-17 data to be flagged is highlighted. [click to enlarge]

As of 19:45 UTC on August 8, 2019, the new Look-Up-Table (LUT) went into operations for use in the GOES-17 ABI Temperature Data Quality Flags (TDQF). These hotter thresholds are possible due to the recent implementation of the Predictive Calibration algorithm.  Note that the image also includes the percent good (and conditionally usable) values (flagged 0 or 1) for both GOES-16 and GOES-17 ABI. Recall there are 5 Data Quality Flags for ABI data:

  • DQF:percent_good_pixel_qf = 1.f ;
  • DQF:percent_conditionally_usable_pixel_qf = 0.f ;
  • DQF:percent_out_of_range_pixel_qf = 0.f ;
  • DQF:percent_no_value_pixel_qf = 0.f ;
  • DQF:percent_focal_plane_temperature_threshold_exceeded_qf = 0.f

The last one, DQF:percent_focal_plane_temperature_threshold_exceeded_qf, reports what percentage of the images pixels are warmer than the threshold value. Note that the thresholds on both the increasing and decreasing temperatures are also reported in the meta-data.

Near realtime brightness temperature comparisons between GOES-16 and GOES-17, as well as historical comparisons for a region centered on the equator and half way between the two satellites.

From the NOAA Notification:

Product(s) or Data Impacted: GOES-17 ABI auxiliary field change

Date/Time of Initial Impact: August 8, 2019 1945 UTC

Details/Specifics of Change:

The GOES-17 ABI Temperature Data Quality Flags (TDQF) thresholds for the thermal bands have been updated to the values in the table below.  This update will make utilizing the TDQF more effective for flagging saturated data caused by the GOES-17 ABI cooling system anomaly. There will be no impacts to distribution caused by this update.

Table of updated Temperature Quality Data Flag thresholds [click to enlarge]

Table of updated Temperature Quality Data Flag thresholds [click to enlarge]

Update (10/02/2019)

On October 2, 2019, at 17:04 UTC, updates for a number of the ABI GOES-17 DQF thresholds were implemented in the operational system. NOAA Notification: https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/messages/2019/MSG2751954.html

Table of updated Temperature Quality Data Flag thresholds

Table of updated Temperature Quality Data Flag thresholds [click to enlarge]. The bold numbers are those values that were updated on October 2nd. 

GOES-16 ABI Derived Products such as Cloud-top Phase in AWIPS

August 14th, 2019 |

AWIPS

AWIPS image of the Contiguous US domain showing the ABI 3.9 µm (on the left portion of the image and the ABI 1.6 µm (on the right portion of the image). The readout of the Level 2 cloud-top phase is also displayed.

The above animation shows the ABI 3.9 µm band for regions of less solar illumination and the ABI 1.6 µm “snow/ice” band for regions more fully illuminated. Also shown is a readout of the GOES-16 cloud-type phase product for a point in eastern Texas. Note how the estimates range for this location from clear sky, liquid water, mixed phase and super-cooled droplets. This shows one example of how to use imagery in conjunction with derived products. These images where generated in AWIPS using a procedure.

Cloud-top phase can be found in RealEarth (search on ‘phase’), GEOCAT (direct link to cloud-top type), and the GOES-R cloud page. An archive of netCDF are held in NOAA’s CLASS.

There are many “Level 2” or derived products generated from the ABI radiances. These include, but are not limited to: cloud proprieties, atmospheric motion, fire, stability, sea and land surface temperatures. More information on these products can be found on the Algorithm Working Group web page, product quality web page or these links.

AWIPS image

AWIPS image of the Contiguous US domain showing the ABI 3.9 µm (on the left portion of the image and the ABI 1.6 µm (on the right portion of the image). The readout of the Level 2 cloud-top phase is also displayed.