RAL Space contribution to next generation Solar Telescope goes in to orbit

RAL Space team involved in SUVI
(Credit: STFC)

November 22 2016

STFC RAL Space are celebrating the successful launch of a next generation geostationary weather satellite that will provide more accurate forecasts and warnings of major space weather events.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) was launched from Cape Canaveral at 23:42 on 19th November. The satellite contains a solar telescope that was part built by the team at RAL Space in Oxfordshire.

There are six primary instruments on board GOES-R, one of these instruments, the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) is a telescope that monitors the sun in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength range. STFC RAL Space provided the camera electronics on SUVI, working closely with e2v technologies ltd who provided the detectors. Lockheed Martin were the lead on SUVI and worked with RAL Space for 7 years to bring the project to fruition.

Professor Nick Waltham Chief Technologist from STFC RAL Space said ‘Working with Lockheed Martin to provide the camera electronics for SUVI was a fantastic experience for us and a game-changer in the way we work in RAL Space. To be able to work on a project that has a fundamental effect on our understanding of our planet is a great opportunity and my team at RAL Space are immensely proud of our work”.

The GOES-R spacecraft is designed to spend 10 years in orbit followed by up to five years of on-orbit storage

The GOES-R series is a collaborative development and acquisition effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. The GOES-R satellite, the first of the series, will provide continuous imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s Western Hemisphere and space weather monitoring.

Media contact:

Sarah Smart 

Notes to Editors

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the next generation of geostationary weather satellites. There are four satellites in the series: GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U. The GOES-R Series Program is a collaborative development and acquisition effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop, launch and operate the satellites.

The GOES-R series satellites will provide continuous imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s Western Hemisphere, total lightning data, and space weather monitoring to provide critical atmospheric, hydrologic, oceanic, climatic, solar and space data.

RAL Space, based at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, carries out an exciting range of world-class space research and technology development. It has had significant involvement in over 200 space missions and is at the forefront of UK Space Research.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000