NOAA-18, known before launch as NOAA-N, is a weather forecasting satellite run by NOAA. NOAA-N (18) was launched on May 20, 2005,[6] into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 854 km above the Earth, with an orbital period of 102 minutes.[7] It hosts the AMSU-A, MHS, AVHRR, Space Environment Monitor SEM/2 instrument and High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) instruments, as well as the SBUV/2 ozone-monitoring instrument.[8] It is the first NOAA POES satellite to use MHS in place of AMSU-B.

APT transmission frequency is 137.9125 MHz (NOAA-18 changed frequencies with NOAA-19 on June 23, 2009).[9]

NOAA-18 or 19 rendering
Computer-generated image of NOAA-18 in orbit
Mission typeWeather satellite
COSPAR ID2005-018A
SATCAT no.28654
Mission duration2 years[1]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeTIROS-N
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Launch mass1,457 kilograms (3,212 lb)[2]
Power830 watts[3]
Start of mission
Launch dateMay 20, 2005, 10:22:01 UTC[4]
RocketDelta II 7320-10C
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-2W
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Semi-major axis7,230.05 kilometers (4,492.54 mi)[5]
Perigee848 kilometers (527 mi)[5]
Apogee869 kilometers (540 mi)[5]
Inclination99.17 degrees[5]
Period101.97 minutes[5]
EpochJanuary 24, 2015, 12:53:56 UTC[5]
Advanced TIROS-N


  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "NOAA 18, 19 (NOAA N, N')". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  2. ^ "NOAA 18". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "UCS Satellite Database". Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "NOAA 18 Satellite details 2005-018A NORAD 28654". N2YO. January 24, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "NOAA-N Prime" (PDF). NP-2008-10-056-GSFC. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "Spacecraft Status Summary". Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "NOAA-N" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "software to decode APT and WEFAX signals from weather satellites". WXtoImg. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
2005 in spaceflight

This article outlines notable events occurring in 2005 in spaceflight, including major launches and EVAs. 2005 saw Iran launch its first satellite.

Advanced microwave sounding unit

The advanced microwave sounding unit (AMSU) is a multi-channel microwave radiometer installed on meteorological satellites. The instrument examines several bands of microwave radiation from the atmosphere to perform atmospheric sounding of temperature and moisture levels.

Advanced very-high-resolution radiometer

The Advanced Very-High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument is a space-borne sensor that measure the reflectance of the Earth in five spectral bands that are relatively wide by today's standards. AVHRR instruments are or have been carried by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) family of polar orbiting platforms (POES) and European MetOp satellites. The instrument scans several channels; two are centered on the red (0.6 micrometres) and near-infrared (0.9 micrometres) regions, a third one is located around 3.5 micrometres, and another two the thermal radiation emitted by the planet, around 11 and 12 micrometres.The first AVHRR instrument was a four-channel radiometer, while the latest version (known as AVHRR/3, first carried on the NOAA-15 platform launched in May 1998) acquires data in a sixth channel located at 1.6 micrometres.

Automatic picture transmission

The Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) system is an analog image transmission system developed for use on weather satellites. It was introduced in the 1960s and over four decades has provided image data to relatively low-cost user stations at locations in most countries of the world. A user station anywhere in the world can receive local data at least twice a day from each satellite as it passes nearly overhead.

Bennett Island

Bennett Island (Russian: Остров Бе́ннетта, translit. Ostrov Bennetta) is the largest of the islands of the De Long group in the northern part of the East Siberian Sea. The area of this island is approximately 150 square kilometres (58 square miles) and it has a tombolo at its eastern end. The highest point of the island is 426 metres (1,398 feet) high Mount De Long, the highest point of the archipelago.

Bennett Island is part of the Sakha Republic administrative division of Russia.

High-resolution picture transmission

Weather satellite pictures are often broadcast as high-resolution picture transmissions (HRPTs), color high-resolution picture transmissions (CHRPTs) for Chinese weather satellite transmissions, or advanced high-resolution picture transmissions (AHRPTs) for EUMETSAT weather satellite transmissions. HRPT transmissions are available around the world and are available from both polar and geostationary weather satellites. The polar satellites rotate in orbits that allow each location on earth to be covered by the weather satellite twice per day while the geostationary satellites remain in one location at the equator taking weather images of the earth from that location over the equator. The sensor on weather satellites that picks up HRPT is referred to as an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR).Broadcast signal

The working frequency band for HRPT is L Band at 1.670–1.710 GHz and the modulation

types are BPSK and QPSK. On NOAA KLM satellites the transmission power is 6.35 Watts, or 38.03 dBm. The METOP-A satellite broadcasts with a bandwidth of 4.5 MHz.

List of Earth observation satellites

Partial list of Earth observation satellites by series/program.

List of NOAA Satellites

A list of satellites owned and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as planned, failed, and canceled launches.


MetOp is a series of three polar orbiting meteorological satellites developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and operated by the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). The satellites form the space segment component of the overall EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), which in turn is the European half of the EUMETSAT/NOAA Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS). The satellites carry a payload comprising 11 scientific instruments and two which support Search and Rescue services. In order to provide data continuity between MetOp and NOAA Polar Operational Satellites (POES), several instruments are carried on both fleets of satellites.

MetOp-A, launched on October 19, 2006, is Europe's first polar orbiting satellite used for operational meteorology. With respect to its primary mission of providing data for Numerical Weather Prediction, studies have shown that MetOp-A data are measured as having the largest impact of any individual satellite platform on reducing 24 hour forecasting errors, and accounts for about 25% of the total impact on global forecast error reduction across all data sources.

Each of the three satellites were originally intended to be operated sequentially, however good performance of the Metop-A and Metop-B satellites mean a period of 3 satellite operations are now expected.

In 2022 a second generation of MetOp satellites will be deployed, called MetOp-SG.

Microwave humidity sounder

The Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) is a five-channel passive microwave radiometer, with channels from 89 to 190 GHz. It is very similar in design to the AMSU-B instrument, but some channel frequencies have been altered. It is used to study profiles of atmospheric water vapor and provide improved input data to the cloud-clearing algorithms in IR/MW sounder suites. Instruments were launched on NOAA's POES satellite series starting with NOAA-18 launched in May 2005 and the European Space Agency's MetOp series starting with MetOp-A launched in October 2006, continuing with MetOp-B launched in September 2012.

The Microwave Humidity Sounder was designed and developed by Astrium EU in Portsmouth, UK, under contract to EUMETSAT.


NOAA-17 was a weather forecasting satellite operated by NOAA. It was launched on June 24, 2002, in a sun-synchronous orbit, 824 km above the Earth, orbiting every 101 minutes. It hosted the AMSU, AVHRR and High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HRIS) instruments. The satellite was retired in 2013.

Automatic Picture Transmission frequency was 137.5 MHz.

NOAA-17 was decommissioned on April 10, 2013.


NOAA-19, designated NOAA-N' (NOAA-N Prime) prior to launch, is the last of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's POES series of weather satellites. NOAA-19 was launched on February 6, 2009.

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to operate and manage the United States environmental satellite programs, and manage the data gathered by the National Weather Service and other government agencies and departments.

National Marine Fisheries Service

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is the United States federal agency responsible for the stewardship of national marine resources. The agency conserves and manages fisheries to promote sustainability and prevent lost economic potential associated with overfishing, declining species, and degraded habitats.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, like Noah) is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.

NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to provide understanding and improve stewardship of the environment.

NOAA was officially formed in 1970 and in 2017 had over 11,000 civilian employees. Its research and operations are further supported by 321 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Corps.Since October 2017, NOAA has been headed by Timothy Gallaudet, as acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA interim administrator.

Natural gas

Natural gas, also called "Fossil Gas" is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.Natural (fossil) gas is a non-renewable hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. It is also used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Natural gas is called a non-renewable resource.Natural (fossil) gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Petroleum is another resource and fossil fuel found in close proximity to and with natural gas. Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: biogenic and thermogenic. Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, landfills, and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material.In petroleum production gas is often burnt as flare gas. The World Bank estimates that over 150 cubic kilometers of natural gas are flared or vented annually. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, most, but not all, must be processed to remove impurities, including water, to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas. The by-products of this processing include: ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide (which may be converted into pure sulfur), carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.

Natural gas is often informally referred to simply as "gas", especially when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal. However, it is not to be confused with gasoline, especially in North America, where the term gasoline is often shortened in colloquial usage to gas.

Polar Operational Environmental Satellites

The Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) was a constellation of polar orbiting weather satellites funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) with the intent of improving the accuracy and detail of weather analysis and forecasting. The Spacecraft were provided by NASA and the European Space Agency, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center oversaw the manufacture, integration and test of the NASA-provided TIROS satellites. The first polar-orbiting weather satellite launched as part of the POES constellation was the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS), which was launched on April 1, 1960. The final spacecraft, NOAA-19, was launched in February 2009. The ESA-provided MetOp satellite operated by EUMETSAT utilize POES-heritage instruments for the purpose of data continuity. The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), which was launched on November 18, 2017, is the successor to the POES Program.On-orbit satellite operations of POES is performed by NOAA's Office of Satellite and Product Operations (OSPO).

Television Infrared Observation Satellite

TIROS, or Television Infrared Observation Satellite, is a series of early weather satellites launched by the United States, beginning with TIROS-1 in 1960. TIROS was the first satellite that was capable of remote sensing of the Earth, enabling scientists to view the Earth from a new perspective: space. The program, promoted by Harry Wexler, proved the usefulness of satellite weather observation, at a time when military reconnaissance satellites were secretly in development or use. TIROS demonstrated at that time that "the key to genius is often simplicity." TIROS is an acronym of "Television InfraRed Observation Satellite" and is also the plural of "tiro" which means "a young soldier, a beginner".Participants in the TIROS project included the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory, Radio Corporation of America, the United States Weather Bureau, the United States Naval Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Weather satellite

The weather satellite is a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. Satellites can be polar orbiting, covering the entire Earth asynchronously, or geostationary, hovering over the same spot on the equator.Meteorological satellites see more than clouds and cloud systems: city lights, fires, effects of pollution, auroras, sand and dust storms, snow cover, ice mapping, boundaries of ocean currents, energy flows, etc. Other types of environmental information are collected using weather satellites. Weather satellite images helped in monitoring the volcanic ash cloud from Mount St. Helens and activity from other volcanoes such as Mount Etna. Smoke from fires in the western United States such as Colorado and Utah have also been monitored.

Other environmental satellites can detect changes in the Earth's vegetation, sea state, ocean color, and ice fields. For example, the 2002 Prestige oil spill off the northwest coast of Spain was watched carefully by the European ENVISAT, which, though not a weather satellite, flies an instrument (ASAR) which can see changes in the sea surface.

El Niño and its effects on weather are monitored daily from satellite images. The Antarctic ozone hole is mapped from weather satellite data. Collectively, weather satellites flown by the U.S., Europe, India, China, Russia, and Japan provide nearly continuous observations for a global weather watch.

TIROS satellites

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