GOES 18 was launched on an accelerated process to take over from GOES 17 which was having trouble keeping the ABI sensor cool due to an issue which was identified with the heat pipes which were blocked.

GOES 18 is the third of the GOES R series geostationary weather satellites that was launched in March 2022 and after an initial check out in orbit it has been drifting towards where it’ll be stationed as the new GOES West when it takes over from GOES 17 which is the current GOES West.

US Radio Guy (Carl) has documented on his website the full process, with the schedule as below:

GOES 18 Schedule

At present, the GOES 18 sensor data is being broadcast via GOES 17, so this is a great way to get the KiwiWeather.com site and the wxcapture software ready for when GOES 18 finally takes over. I identified multiple places in the code where there were assumptions built in that GOES West was GOES 17, which meant a bit of head scratching to get this working.

Along the way I helped to identify an issue with Sanchez when doing a combined image if there was more than one image used from GOES 18 (or any other satellite), with this being very rapidly fixed by Matt.

Many of the images look very familiar, but there are multiple enhanced images which really pull out the detail of the images like the mid-level IR image below.

Enhanced IR Mid-Level Troposphere Window Band

In a few days GOES 17 will take back over, so hopefully I’ve got all the bugs fixed and GOES 17 images plus videos will automatically be created again until the next GOES 18 rebroadcasts in mid-October.

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