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RAMMB: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch logo CIRA: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere logo NESDIS: NOAA Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service logo

Information on GOES image display from the NOAA/NESDIS/StAR/RAMM Branch

The following information is provided about GOES imagery to help satellite data users understand image calibration/scaling and differences between GOES images on RAMSDIS and AWIPS display systems. Information is also available on image noise and on a unique transformation of multi-spectral GOES imagery into image products via principal component analysis.

GOES image calibration/scaling and display

Whereas GOES Imager data are collected in 10-bit values called GVAR counts, image display systems use 8-bit displays. The process of converting from 10-bit GVAR counts into temperatures and into 8-bit display counts are both non-linear process. Information is also provided here about differences between GOES imagery displayed on RAMSDIS and AWIPS display systems, in particular on the differences for the GOES water vapor band and the GOES fog product.

GOES image noise characteristics

In the process of converting between different unit scales, satellite data users must be aware of how noise is manifest in GOES data. Noise in GOES data is a function of temperature and is therefore not constant over the 8-bit count range normally used for display of GOES data.

GOES Principal Component Image (PCI) transformation

It is possible to transform GOES imagery into image products which are statistically independent. Principal Component Images (PCIs) can be created to help explain the observed features in GOES imagery, such a differing cloud types and heights and variations in earth-surface features.


The following acronyms are used throughout the Web pages linked to this page.

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