NOAA 99-R309
Contact: Pat Viets


GOES-7, a 12-year-old environmental satellite, is being transitioned to 175 degrees West to support the PanPacific Education and Communications Experiment by Satellite, or PEACESAT, a public service satellite telecommunications network, announced the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today.

GOES-7 was first launched into the Earth's orbit on Feb. 26, 1987. NOAA used it mainly to aid in weather prediction. The satellite obtained the wind direction and speed of clouds to help meteorologists better understand atmospheric circulation patterns. A data-collection system on GOES-7 received and relayed environmental data sensed by widely dispersed surface platforms such as river and rain gauges, seismometers, tide gauges, buoys, ships, and automatic weather stations. The satellite, equipped with a search and rescue transmitter, was also able to participate in the international search and rescue program.

Because GOES-8 and GOES-10 have taken over these tasks, NOAA was able to find a different use for GOES-7. Instead of taking the satellite out of orbit, NOAA has opted to loan it to PEACESAT for use as a communications satellite.

PEACESAT is a public service satellite telecommunications network that links educational institutions, regional organizations and governments in the Pacific Islands region. It is an important venue for international cooperation and collaboration. Specifically, PEACESAT facilitates the sharing of knowledge, information, culture, and resources and helps to lessen the barriers of the Pacific Ocean, which comprises one-third of the Earth's surface.

In this partnership, PEACESAT will provide the maintenance required for GOES-7, while NOAA continues to provide the engineering skills. The 23-year-old satellites, GOES-2 and GOES-3, that PEACESAT was previously using for communications can finally be brought out of orbit and replaced by the sturdier GOES-7.

Preceding this transition was the move of the last known Command and Telemetry Processor to the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii. The CTP was built for the launch support of the GOES D-H series satellites, which included GOES-7. The CTP in Hawaii will be used by PEACESAT.

Upon arrival in Honolulu, personnel from NOAA's Wallops, Va., Command and Data Acquisition station were dispatched to aid in the installation and checkout of the CTP. Training for the PEACESAT personnel will later be provided in satellite operations.