GOES-T launched successfully from Cape Canaveral, FL at 2138 UTC 01 March 2022. Given quiet weather elsewhere, 30-second mesoscale sectors from both GOES-East and GOES-West were collected imagery over the launch location, capturing fascinating details about the rocket hot spot and plume.
Starting with the GOES-East view of the launch, visible imagery captured the condensation trail (Fig 1), while SWIR imagery revealed the hot spot (Fig 2).
Combining VIS/NIR and SWIR gives us the Natural Fire Color RGB, which shows the hot spot along with the condensation trail (Fig 3).
Zooming out, an even longer vapor trail is visible in the 6.2 um water vapor imagery, along with the hot spot signature (Fig 4).
Finally, combining the VIS, SWIR, and water vapor imagery, we are able to capture all features, including the hot spot (yellow), condensation trail (dark blue), and vapor trail (lighter green/mustard compared to background; Fig 5). This “Plume RGB” is recently available in AWIPS per the TOWR-S RPM v22 update, in the Local Menu Items menu.
Similar bands/RGBs from GOES-West capture the launch from a much greater Viewing Zenith angle, providing a different perspective (Fig 6-9).
Additional iamgery from the launch can be found in this CIMSS Satellite Blog Post.
Bill Line, NESDIS and CIRA