The Emergency GOES Imager study responds to the potential need for a small, back-up imager for weather observations in the event of failure of one or more of the current GOES satellites. The Emergency GOES Imager (EGI) is designed to be compact and lightweight. Minimal spatial resolution is required in the visible and IR band for the purpose of synoptic forecasts. The ground resolution requirement is 16 km for the 10.2 to 11.2 micrometers IR band and 4 km for the 0.5 to 0.7 micrometers visible band. Due to the small size of the instrument, the EGI has the potential to be deployed either alone on a small launcher or as an auxiliary payload on a larger satellite. The overall size of the EGI is dependent on the orientation of the satellite because of the dependence on amount of solar shielding required for the cooler, and the choice of coolers for specific satellite orientations. Although the EGI design is for an emergency system, the design utilizes recent technology in the form of both a linear IR focal plane array, in front of its constant-motion mirror, and a visible CCD array with a staring-format. The IR array has the potential to present a technical challenge to array manufacturers in the area of calibration, assuming a 0.1 K NEDT. We discuss the means by which the emergency requirements are met with this small and simple system, define the limiting technologies in the design, and explore modifications necessary to expand these requirements.