MIAMI, Nov 21 — A US weather satellite that will “revolutionise” forecasting blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Saturday, promising to deliver continuous high-definition views of hurricanes and other storms over the Western Hemisphere.
A detailed stream of images provided by the satellite is expected to sharpen weather forecasts, provide more advanced warning of floods and better tracking of wildfires, plumes and volcanic ash clouds.
Carried atop an Atlas 5 rocket, the GOES-R satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:42pm EST (0742 Sunday in Malaysia).
Once in position 35,888 km (22,300 miles) above the equator, GOES-R is designed to take a complete picture of the hemisphere every five minutes while simultaneously zooming in on specific regions to monitor fires, volcanic eruptions, heavy rainfall and storms.
The heart of the new satellite is a high-resolution camera, designed and built Exelis Inc, a subsidiary of Harris Corp. It can see in 16 wavelengths, compared with five available with the current system. — Reuters