The Lockheed Martin-built solar ultraviolet imager (SUVI) for the geostationary operational environmental satellite-R (GOES) series, has completed its critical design review (CDR).

SUVI is a set of operational instruments on the GOES-R that allows the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) solar observational capabilities to monitor solar activity.

The imager will also enable NOAA to issue real-time alerts when space weather might affect satellite operations, communications, navigation and the distribution of electricity through power grids.

The SUVI instrument met and exceeded all performance requirements at the CDR with the design providing over six times more pixels than required and imaging cadence capability at more than three times the original specification.

The SUVI programme will now proceed to fabrication of the flight units.

The next major review will be the pre-environmental review in November 2011 in preparation for delivery in October 2012.

The first GOES-R launch is scheduled for 2015.