Friday, July 28, 2017

EMWIN GOES-East satellite broadcast signal and file format changes effective November 2017

Effective in November 2017, the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-16 will replace the existing operational GOES-13 at the GOES-East geosynchronous orbit location of 75 degrees west longitude. The GOES-East location assignment was announced by NESDIS on May 25, 2017. The specific date and time in November for the replacement has not been announced. An updated Service Change Notice will be sent when the date is determined.

The NWS and NESDIS hosted two public Webinars in April and August 2016 to identify and review the changes to the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN) broadcasts with the introduction of GOES-16. The Webinars also included time to receive and respond to participant questions and comments regarding these changes. Participants included individual users, emergency managers, third party emergency alert service providers, media outlets and hardware and software manufacturers. The presentations provided at these Webinars are available here:

The operational deployment of GOES-16 introduces three changes to the GOES-East EMWIN broadcast impacting the reception and decoding of products in the High Rate Information Transmission (HRIT)/EMWIN L-band satellite broadcast data stream, as follows:

-HRIT/EMWIN Receiver: GOES-16 broadcasts the EMWIN and the NESDIS HRIT data streams over a single transponder in a combined HRIT/EMWIN format. EMWIN receive stations will need to be updated with an HRIT/EMWIN receiver and antenna system to receive and decode the EMWIN data stream from the HRIT/EMWIN broadcast.

-Full-File Format: The products on the EMWIN segment of the GOES-16 HRIT/EMWIN broadcast are sent as complete files, in contrast to the Quick Block Transfer (QBT) packet format employed on the GOES-13 EMWIN broadcast. Software updates may be required to properly handle this new full-file format.

-File Name Change: The file name assigned to each of the full- file products on the EMWIN segment of the HRIT/EMWIN broadcast will contain 63 to 66 alpha-numeric characters followed by a period and a three character file extension. The new file name convention is online at:

The GOES-16 satellite is now in orbit at a service check-out location (89.5 degrees west longitude) until November 2017.  The satellite's HRIT/EMWIN transponder is active but may periodically be taken off line to accommodate other spacecraft events. Users are encouraged to install and verify the operations of new or updated HRIT/EMWIN receive equipment and software. The HRIT/EMWIN broadcast should not be used for operations until GOES-16 is declared operational in November 2017.

Questions or comments regarding these changes may be emailed to the NWS EMWIN support staff at:  nws.emwin.support@noaa.gov.