SpaceX launch of the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission

May 30th, 2020 |

GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm, left), Mid-level (6.9 µm, center) and Upper-level (6.2 µm, left) Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm, left), Mid-level (6.9 µm, center) and Upper-level (6.2 µm, left) Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

SpaceX launched the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1922 UTC on 30 May 2020. 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) Lower-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images (above) showed the thermal signature of hot combustion byproducts (water vapor and carbon dioxide) in the wake of the Falcon 9 booster engines.

A larger-scale view of GOES-16 Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images (below) revealed a signature of the Stage 1 rocket re-entry burn farther offshore at 1930 UTC (the 1930 UTC image was from the other GOES-16 Mesoscale Domain Sector, which was positioned farther north).

GOES-16 Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, left), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm, center) and Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm, left) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, left), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm, center) and Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm, left) images [click to play animation | MP4]

A thermal signature was also seen in GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared imagery (3.9 µm) imagery (above); a separate Shortwave Infrared animation with a different color enhancement is shown below. Note the initial appearance of a hot pixel over the launch site on the 19:22:50 UTC image, which was scanning that particular location at 19:23:20 UTC (shortly after the 19:22 UTC launch time).

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid are shown below — the rocket booster condensation cloud can be seen near the center of the images, beginning as a short linear feature then morphing into a more diffuse C-shaped feature as it drifted slowly eastward over the Atlantic Ocean.

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

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

When is an ABI hot (bright) spot not a fire?

May 30th, 2020 |

An ABI hot (bright) spot is not a fire when it’s a fleet of solar farms. For example, recall the CIMSS Satellite Blog entry regarding solar farms in California. 

ABI band 2 visible

ABI band 2 visible animation on May 30, 2020 (mostly) in southeastern Minnesota. Click to play mp4.

Note how some reflections are so bright that the ABI reports dark surrounding pixels. This is part of the remapping process from detector to pixel space. 

 

9-panel

A multiple-spectral ABI comparison on May 30, 2020. The rows are: band 2, band 5, band 6 band 7, band 7 – 14 brightness temp, band 14 fire mask, band 7-14 radiance difference, band 7-14 radiance difference minus the rolling average

From left to right, top to bottom the panels are:
1) ABI band 2 reflectance, dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
2) ABI band 5 reflectance, dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
3) ABI band 6 reflectance, dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
4) ABI band 7 brightness temperature, dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
5) ABI band 7 minus band 14 brightness temperature. Red indicates positive values (extra thermal energy due to the sun and fires, if present), dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
6) ABI band 14 brightness temperature, dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
7) ABI Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm (FDCA, aka WFABBA) fire detection metadata mask.  Fires are red, orange, magenta, and shades of blue indicating different confidence levels.  Green indicates fire-free land, shades of gray indicate clouds, dark  blue indicates water.
8) Radiance difference of band 7 minus band 14 radiance in band 7 space.  Red indicates positive values (extra thermal energy due to the sun and fires, if present), dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker)
9) Radiance difference of band 7 minus band 14 radiance in band 7 space minus a rolling average of the 5 prior frames, to highlight changes. Red indicates positive values (extra thermal energy due to the sun and fires, if present), dynamically scaled to enhance contrast (will appear to flicker).

Aside from the solar farms, water clouds show up in the difference panels due to their reflection of shortwave radiation. 

H/T to Chris Schmidt for the 9-panel ABI imagery.  More about quantitative ABI products, including fire detection. 

The original tweet from the La Crosse WFO: “We saw some awfully bright looking “clouds” showing up via satellite in southeast Minnesota earlier this afternoon. Well after some investigation, we were able to determine they were actually solar panel arrays that the sun was hitting just right!”

NWS tweet

Solar farms and GOES-16 ABI visible imagery from the La Crosse NWS WFO.