GOES 17, which is also known as GOES West, is a US weather satellite operated by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It, together with GOES 16 (GOES East) are in geostationary orbit, positioned over the equator and they cover most of the Pacific Ocean and US (17) plus the US and Atlantic (16).

GOES 17 was launched in 2018 and entered service in 2019 with a planned lifetime of 15 years.

It broadcasts a wide range of data which can be received and decoded using a Raspberry Pi / SDR / GOES SAWbird plus a slightly modified WiFi grid antenna.

These images are best viewed by opening them in a new tab / window as this lets you see the full image size and you can also zoom into the image.

Full Colour – California, Nevada, Oregon and Idaho

The satellite is almost constantly broadcasting data with the above example showing a zoomed in area of the US. Whilst this image is a full colour image, there are also single channel images sent which can show features such as vegetation, water vapour, infra-red, etc. The areas which are shown seem to feature “interesting” weather, with state lines and international borders added during the decoding.

Full Colour – Alaska

However the most visually stunning are the full disc images, with the entire Earth visible as a round circle. The image below was taken just as night had fallen over most of the Pacific, just about reaching New Zealand.

Red – Channel 2

Using different wavelengths, data like the distribution of water vapour in the upper atmosphere can be tracked.

Upper-Level Water Vapour – Channel 8

GOES 17 also broadcasts weather forecast data (although mostly for the US).

Forecast Data