Guidance, navigation, and control performance for the GOES-R spacecraft

Jim Chapel, Devin Stancliffe, Tim Bevacqua, Stephen Winkler, Brian Clapp, Tim Rood, David Gaylor, Doug Freesland, Alexander Krimchansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R) is the first of the next generation geostationary weather satellites. The series represents a dramatic increase in Earth observation capabilities, with 4 times the resolution, 5 times the observation rate, and 3 times the number of spectral bands. GOES-R also provides unprecedented availability, with less than 120 min per year of lost observation time. This paper presents the guidance navigation & control (GN&C) requirements necessary to realize the ambitious pointing, knowledge, and image navigation and registration (INR) objectives of GOES-R. Because the suite of instruments is sensitive to disturbances over a broad spectral range, a high-fidelity simulation of the vehicle has been created with modal content over 500 Hz to assess the pointing stability requirements. Simulation results are presented showing acceleration, shock response spectra, and line-of-sight (LOS) responses for various disturbances from 0 to 512 Hz. Simulation results demonstrate excellent performance relative to the pointing and pointing stability requirements, with LOS jitter for the isolated instrument platform of approximately 1 micro-rad. Attitude and attitude rate knowledge are provided directly to the instrument with an accuracy defined by the integrated rate error requirements. The data are used internally for motion compensation. The final piece of the INR performance is orbit knowledge, which GOES-R achieves with GPS navigation. Performance results are shown demonstrating compliance with the 50–75 m orbit position accuracy requirements. As presented in this paper, the GN&C performance supports the challenging mission objectives of GOES-R.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalCEAS Space Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 17 2015


  • GPS at GEO
  • Spacecraft attitude control
  • Spacecraft jitter
  • Spacecraft pointing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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