GOES-13: Data during eclipse period

August 31st, 2006 |

One of the important changes made to the GOES-N/O/P series of satellites is the addition of increased onboard battery capacity to enable the satellites to continue to provide imager and sounder data during the Spring and Fall season “eclipse periods”. During these eclipse periods (which can last 1-3 hours), the GOES satellites are in the Earth’s shadow, so their solar panels cannot provide power to all of the satellite instrument payloads.

Below is a comparison of GOES-12 and GOES-13 10.7 micrometer IR (“IR window”) data, showing convective rain bands associated with Tropical Storm Ernesto. At 04:02 UTC (below, left), one of the rain bands (with cloud top temperatures of -60 to -70 C, denoted by the red to black color enhancement) is moving inland across southeastern Georgia with light rain begining along the coast at Brunswick. However, no GOES-12 images are available between 04:15 UTC (below, right) and 06:15 UTC, a period when this particular convection was exhibiting a trend of cooling cloud top temperatures. A QuickTime animation (22 images, 5.2 MB file size) shows that GOES-13 IR data was available during this ~2 hour eclipse period, allowing the cloud top temperature trends of these convective rain bands to be monitored continuously.
GOES-12/GOES-13 IR imagesGOES-12/GOES-13 IR images