The GOES-R instrument, called the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, is supposed to watch lightning around the Americas and nearby oceans to a resolution of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers). This would include cloud-to-cloud lightning, in-cloud lightning and cloud-to-ground lightning. The project has been in development since 1979.
GOES-R will watch not only the Earth, but also the sun’s environment. The major driver of energy on Earth, the sun can sometimes belch out devastating coronal mass ejections. These streams of particles occasionally short out infrastructure as they strike satellites or power lines.