Satellite instrument set to provide weather forecasters with better data

Oct. 31, 2013 at 6:29 PM

GREENBELT, Md., Oct. 31 (UPI) -- An instrument that will give forecasters better data about world weather systems is ready to go into the satellite that will take it into orbit, NASA says.

The Advanced Baseline Imager will be the primary sensor on the new generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-R, the agency reported Thursday.

The ABI instrument on the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration satellite will track and monitor cloud formation, atmospheric motion and more data of weather, oceans, and the environment, scientists said.

It will aid in forecasting severe weather, volcanic ash advisories, fire and smoke and other hazards, they said.

"The United States is home to some of the most severe weather in the world including tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and wildfires," said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service. "The ABI offers breakthrough technology that will help NOAA develop faster and more accurate forecasts that will save lives and protect communities."

The first satellite in the GOES-R Series, being built by Lockheed, is currently scheduled for launch in early 2016, NASA said.

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