GOES 17 Project

GOES 17, also known as GOES West, is a US weather satellite which is in a geostationary orbit 35,700km above the Earth. It was launched in March 2018 and it has a planned life out to about 2036, although based on how long the NOAA polar orbiting satellites, NOAA 15 / 18 / 19, are lasting, it could significantly exceed this.

GOES West comes from the location of the satellite, which is positioned so that it captures data which includes not just the US, but out to the west so that is can see weather which is heading east. The footprint can be seen from the image below from the GOES website where full images across 23 different enhancements / wavelengths are updated every 10 minutes:

GOES 17 – True Colour – 20th June 2020

However due to the amount of cloud on this image, it is hard to spot countries other than the US and Canada at the top right of the image. But a bit easier with this second image where the country / state outlines have been added.

GOES 17 – Longwave Infra Red- 20th June 2020

At the bottom left corner you can spot New Zealand, the east coast of Australia (just), plus several of the Pacific Islands like New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and even a bit of Papua New Guinea.

And since New Zealand is in the satellite footprint, it means that it can be received in New Zealand and this is the next project that we’re working on to bring GOES 17 images to the KiwiWeather.com website.

I’m working off one of the excellent guides on the https://rtl-sdr.com website – https://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-com-goes-16-17-and-gk-2a-weather-satellite-reception-comprehensive-tutorial/.

From the hardware required:

  • RTL-SDR dongle – already on hand
  • Low Noise Amplifier – I’ve ordered one of the Nooelec SAWbird for GOES which includes a band pass filter and an ultra-low noise amplifier, direct from Nooelec in the US
  • A 2.4GHz WiFi grid antenna – I’ve ordered a HyperLink Technologies ANT-95 grid antenna from PBTech here in New Zealand
  • A mount – not yet ordered
  • Coax adaptor – I’ve ordered an N to SMA connector from a supplier here in NZ, Techoman
  • Low loss cable – not yet arranged, although since the intention is to keep this cable as short as possible, down to it being a few centimetres long, I may use some RG58
  • A Raspberry Pi – already on hand

Once I’ve got everything, I’ll be working through getting the system up and running. Then it’ll be integrated into this web site.

I’ll be doing posts as I go, so you can follow the progress.

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