The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have released a statement in which it said that the GOES-17 weather satellite had developed a malfunction in its cooling system and it will be endangering the majority of the satellite’s value.
The GOES-17 is the second generation weather satellite of the NOAA, and it was launched two months back. The predecessor if the GOES-17 is covering the US East Coast and GOES-17 will be covering the “GOES-West.” This satellite can provide the high-quality resolution images of the atmospheric conditions; it can also help in tracking the wildfires, solar behaviour,and lightning strike. NOAA usually stay ahead of the loss of the dying satellites by launching the new satellites in the regular interval. As a result, they provide the global coverage without any gap.
NOAA said that the cooling system of the Advanced Baseline Imager(ABI) on the GOES-17 weather satellite did not function as it planned when the on-orbit checkout was done which was a few weeks ago. The main work of the cooling system is to keep the ABI’s detectors at an operating temperature of about 60 Kelvin. As the system is not working, 13 of the instrument’s 16 bands at infrared and near-infrared wavelengths which is part of each orbit. The other three bands which were operated in the visible wavelengths seem to be not affected by this cooling issue.
According to the Stephen Volz, who is the head of the NOAA’s satellite and Information Service said, “This is a serious problem. This is the premier Earth-pointing instrument on the GOES platform. If they are not functioning fully, it is a loss, a performance issue we have to address.”
As per Pam Sullivan, who is the NASA flight manager for the GOES-R program said, “The problem appears to be with a cryocooler unit and associated hardware on the instrument. The heat pipes that transport heat from the cryocooler to the external radiator do not seem to be working as intended right now.”