The Advanced Baseline Imager is the primary instrument on GOES-R for imaging Earth’s weather, climate, and environment. ABI will be able to view the Earth with 16 different spectral bands, including two visible channels, four near-infrared channels, and ten infrared channels. It will provide three times more spectral information, four times the spatial resolution, and more than five times faster temporal coverage than the current system. Forecasters will be able to use the higher resolution images to track the development of storms in their early stages.
The GOES-R ABI will be used for a wide range of applications related to weather, oceans, land, climate, and hazards (fires, volcanoes, hurricanes, and storms that spawn tornados). It is designed to observe the western hemisphere in various time intervals at 0.5, 1, and 2 km spatial resolutions in visible, near-infrared (IR), and IR wavelengths, respectively. The ABI has two main scan modes. The continuous full disk mode will provide uninterrupted scans of the full disk every 5 minutes, while the flex mode will concurrently allow full disk imagery every 15 minutes, the continental US every 5 minutes, and a mesoscale region as often as every 30 seconds.It is expected that two mesoscale regions will be scanned, resulting in a 1 minute cadence for those sectors. The ABI will be calibrated to an accuracy of 3% (1 σ) radiance for visible and near-infrared wavelengths. For infrared channels, the ABI will be accurate to 1K (1 σ) at 300K.
The ABI will improve every product from the current GOES Imager and will introduce a host of new products for severe weather forecasting, fire and smoke monitoring, volcanic ash advisories, and more. Current benefits from the ABI are projected to be $4.6B over the lifetime of the series due to improved tropical cyclone forecasts, fewer weather-related flight delays and airline incidences with volcanic plumes, improved production and distribution of electricity and natural gas, increased efficiency in irrigated water usage in agriculture, and higher protection rates for recreational boats in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.
ABI Modes of Operation
Full Disk: Hemispheric Coverage of 83° local zenith angle, temporal resolution of 5-15 minutes, and spatial resolution of 0.5 to 2km.
Mesoscale: Provides coverage over a 1000x1000km box with a temporal resolution of 30 seconds, and spatial resolution of 0.5 to 2km.
Continental US: The CONUS scan is performed every 5 minutes, providing coverage of the 5000km (E/W) and 3000km (N/S) rectangle over the United States. The spatial resolution is 0.5 to 2km.
Flex Mode: The flex mode of scanning will provide a FD scan every 15 minutes, a CONUS every 5 minutes, and a Mesoscale every 30 seconds.
Continuous Full Disk: Continuous full disk mode will provide uninterrupted scans of the full disk every 5 minutes.
ITT Exelis Scan Mode Demo
Current GOES Imager
0.64 µm Visible
Bands (>2 µm)
~ 1 km
~ 4 km
4 per hour
12 per hour
Every 30 sec
Scheduled (3 hrly)
~4 per hour
Visible (reflective bands)
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