The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) geostationary operational environmental satellite (GOES-P) is undergoing preparation for launch, scheduled for March 2010.

GOES-P is the third satellite in the GOES N-P series of satellites, which provide continuous monitoring for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.

The satellite imagery is used to estimate rainfall during thunderstorms and hurricanes to create flash flood warnings that aid in issuing winter storm warnings and spring snow melt advisories.

The spacecraft, with a design life of ten years, is equipped with a highly advanced attitude control system that provides high-accuracy information, including data pixel location to 2km from geosynchronous orbit.

The GOES-P has completed instrument testing and cleaning of the solar X-ray imager and the imager and sounder after being taken out from storage since 2006.

The spacecraft underwent a successful functional testing and a payload check in Florida before being moved to the launch pad for pre-launch tests.