Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI)

The Advanced Baseline Imager is the primary instrument on the GOES-R series for imaging Earth’s weather, oceans and environment. ABI will view the Earth with 16 different spectral bands (compared to five on current GOES), 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.

ABI is a mission critical payload for the GOES-R series, providing more than 65 percent of all mission data products currently defined.

ABI is a multi-channel passive imaging radiometer designed to observe the Western Hemisphere and provide variable area imagery and radiometric information of Earth’s surface, atmosphere and cloud cover. The instrument has two scan modes. The default mode will concurrently take a full disk (Western Hemisphere) image every 15 minutes, an image of the Continental U.S. every five minutes, and two smaller, more detailed images of areas where storm activity is present, every 60 seconds. The ABI can also operate in continuous full disk mode, providing uninterrupted scans of the full disk every 5 minutes. All ABI bands will have on-orbit calibration.

ABI will be used for a wide range of applications related to weather, oceans, land, climate and hazards (fires, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes and storms that spawn tornadoes).

ABI will improve every product from the current GOES imager and will introduce a host of new products

It will track and monitor cloud formation, atmospheric motion, convection, land surface temperature, ocean dynamics, flow of water, fire, smoke, volcanic ash plumes, aerosols and air quality, and vegetative health. ABI’s data will enable meteorologists to pinpoint and track developing storms in much greater detail. Future products will also help the aviation industry with aircraft icing threat detection and turbulent flight condition predictions.

Benefits from the ABI include 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.


  • 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 will provide a full disk scan every 15 minutes, a CONUS every 5 minutes, and two mesoscale every 60 seconds (or one sub-region every 30 seconds).

ABI Scan Mode Demonstration

Comparison GOES-R Series ABI vs Current GOES

Attribute : ABI Current GOES Imager
Spectral Coverage 16 bands 5 bands
Spatial Resolution    
0.64 µm Visible
Other visible/near-IR
Bands (>2 µm)
0.5 km
1.0 km
2 km
~ 1 km
~ 4 km
Spatial Coverage    
Full Disk
4 per hour
12 per hour
30 or 60 sec
Scheduled (3 hrly)
~4 per hour
Visible (reflective bands)    
    On-orbit calibration Yes No
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The increased temporal resolution of the ABI will allow forecasters to monitor the interactions between air masses, outflow boundaries and storms, leading to increased situational awareness and confidence.

More Information


Harris Corporation, Fort Wayne, Indiana