The National Weather Service GOES-R Satellite Series Mesoscale Domain Sector Request Process (174)

Eric Guillot, NWS Office of Observations / Integrity Applications Incorporated, Silver Spring, MD

Brian Gockel, NWS Office of Observations


Joe Zajic, NWS Office of Observations / Integrity Applications Incorporated

Brian Rapp, NWS Office of Observations / Integrity Applications Incorporated



The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the GOES-R Series of geostationary satellites has the capability to scan two different sub-CONUS areas at a one-minute refresh rate. These mesoscale domain sectors (MDSs) provide National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters and other users of GOES-R series data with unprecedented temporal resolution of meteorological phenomenon. However, the flexibility in the positioning of the ABI MDSs, compounded by a diversity of weather hazards, requires a systematic process to ensure competing forecaster needs are met and that the satellite's capabilities are fully exploited. A standard operating procedure (SOP) was developed to establish the process by which a Weather Forecast Office (WFO), River Forecast Center (RFC), Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) or National Center can request a MDS over a region of interest for a specific length of time. This procedure was realized through the development of the Mesoscale Mission Manager (MMM) tool, made available to all NWS forecasters through the NOAA Virtual Lab (VLab) website. A weather phenomenon priority list was also established in order to prioritize MDS requests in the event of multiple conflicting requests. The management of this process was passed from the NWS Office of Observations to the NWS Operations Division in January 2018. The MDS process helps ensure MDS positions correspond to high-impact events, to the benefit of all GOES-16 (and soon GOES-17) users. Based on experience from the GOES-16 MDS request process, we conclude that the implementation and constant improvement of this SOP, the attendant positioning of the GOES-16 MDS sectors, and the development of the VLab MMM tool have assisted the NWS tremendously towards their goal of protection of life and property, in addition to benefiting the broader weather community.