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Published on January 22, 2008

Author: Prudenza

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Nimbus: NASA’s First Experimental Satellite:  Nimbus: NASA’s First Experimental Satellite COSC 5386 – Remote Sensing Jeng Funtanilla Feb 19, 2004 Nimbus Satellites:  Nimbus Satellites Nimbus – Latin word “cloud” Initiated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Later operated by both NASA and the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was developed in the early 1960s http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus.html Nimbus Satellites:  Nimbus Satellites Civil Experimental weather satellite program of NASA to meet research and development needs of the atmospheric and Earth scientists, providing global surveillance of the atmospheric structure at low Earth orbital altitudes for the world's weather services Second-generation meteorological research and development (R&D) spacecraft designed to serve as stabilized, earth-oriented platforms for the testing of advanced systems to sense and collect atmospheric science data. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus.html Nimbus Satellites:  Nimbus Satellites There were seven successful Nimbus satellites built by GE for GSFC launched into near-polar, sun-synchronous orbits beginning with Nimbus 1 on August 28, 1964. When a sensor is deemed to be operational, it can be carried by a NOAA weather satellite. NOAA did not use the Nimbus satellites in an operational weather system, but did use the data gathered by NASA. Nimbus was an advanced research satellite and the spacecraft design was later used in the development of the Landsat system. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus.html http://roland.lerc.nasa.gov/~dglover/sat/nimbus.html Nimbus Satellites:  Nimbus Satellites Nimbus Credit: NASA http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Operation History of the Nimbus Satellites:  Operation History of the Nimbus Satellites Satellite Launch Date Decay Date Nimbus 1 1964-08-28 1974-05-16 Nimbus 2 1966-05-15 1969-01-17 Nimbus 3 1969-04-14 1972-01-22 Nimbus 4 1970-04-08 1980-09-30 Nimbus 5 1972-12-11 Nimbus 6 1975-06-12 Nimbus 7 1978-10-24 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus.html Nimbus Chronology :  Nimbus Chronology 28 August 1964 Nimbus 1 Mass: 376 kg. Perigee: 429 km. Apogee: 937 km. Inclination: 98.7 deg. Returned 27,000 cloud cover images. Carried an advanced vidicon camera system for recording and storing remote cloudcover pictures automatic picture transmission camera for providing real-time cloud cover pictures and high-resolution infrared radiometer to complement the daytime TV coverage and to measure nighttime radiative temperatures of cloud tops and surface terrain. A short second-stage burn resulted in an unplanned eccentric orbit. Otherwise, the spacecraft and its experiments operated successfully until September 22, 1964. The solar paddles became locked in position, resulting in inadequate electrical power to continue operations. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm http://pollux.geog.ucsb.edu/~jeff/115a/history/nimbus1.html Nimbus Chronology :  Nimbus Chronology 15 May 1966 Nimbus 2 Mass: 414 kg. Perigee: 1,093 km. Apogee: 1,176 km. Inclination: 100.3 deg. TV, IR cloud cover photos. Carried an advanced vidicon camera system for recording and storing remote cloud cover pictures automatic picture transmission camera for providing real-time cloudcover pictures both high- and medium-resolution infrared radiometers (HRIR and MRIR) for measuring the intensity and distribution of electromagnetic radiation emitted by and reflected from the earth and its atmosphere. The spacecraft and experiments performed normally after launch until July 26, 1966, when the spacecraft tape recorder failed. Its function was taken over by the HRIR tape recorder until November 15, 1966, when it also failed. Some real-time data were collected until January 17, 1969, when the spacecraft mission was terminated owing to deterioration of the horizon scanner used for earth reference. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology :  Nimbus Chronology 18 May 1968 Nimbus B Mass: 570 kg. Launched with Secor 10. 14 April 1969 Nimbus 3 Mass: 575 kg. Perigee: 1,071 km. Apogee: 1,130 km. Inclination: 100.4 deg. Primary experiments consisted satellite infrared spectrometer (SIRS) for determining the vertical temperature profiles of the atmosphere infrared interferometer spectrometer (IRIS) for measuring the emission spectra of the earth-atmosphere system both high- and medium-resolution infrared radiometers (HRIR and MRIR) for yielding information on the distribution and intensity of infrared radiation emitted and reflected by the earth and its atmosphere monitor of ultraviolet solar energy (MUSE) for detecting solar UV radiation image dissector camera system for providing daytime cloudcover pictures in both real-time mode using the real time transmission system and tape recorder mode using the high data rate storage system http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology :  Nimbus Chronology radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) SNAP-19 to assess the operational capability of radioisotope power for space applications, and an interrogation recording and location system (IRLS) experiment designed to locate, interrogate, record, and retransmit meteorological and geophysical data from remote collection stations. Nimbus-3 was successful and performed normally until July 22, 1969, when the IRIS experiment failed. The HRIR and the SIRS experiments were terminated on January 25, 1970, and June 21, 1970, respectively. The remaining experiments continued operation until September 25, 1970, when the rear horizon scanner failed. Without this horizon scanner, it was impossible to maintain proper spacecraft attitude, thus making most experimental observations useless. All spacecraft operations were terminated on January 22, 1972. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology:  Nimbus Chronology 08 April 1970 Nimbus 4 Mass: 620 kg. Perigee: 1,088 km. Apogee: 1,099 km. Inclination: 100.1 deg. Environmental research. Primary experiments consisted of image dissector camera system for providing daytime cloudcover pictures both in real-time and recorded modes temperature-humidity infrared radiometer (THIR) for measuring daytime and nighttime surface and cloudtop temperatures as well as the water vapor content of the upper atmosphere infrared interferometer spectrometer (IRIS) for measuring the emission spectra of the earth/atmosphere system satellite infrared spectrometer (SIRS) for determining the vertical profiles of temperature and water vapor in the atmosphere monitor of ultraviolet solar energy (MUSE) for detecting solar UV radiation http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology:  Nimbus Chronology backscatter ultraviolet (BUV) detector for monitoring the vertical distribution and total amount of atmospheric ozone on a global scale filter wedge spectrometer (FWS) for accurate measurement of IR radiance as a function of wavelength from the earth/atmosphere system selective chopper radiometer (SCR) for determining the temperatures of six successive 10-km layers in the atmosphere from absorption measurements in the 15-micrometer CO2 band, and interrogation, recording, and location system (IRLS) for locating, interrogating, recording, and retransmitting meteorological and geophysical data from remote collection stations. The spacecraft performed well until April 14, 1971, when attitude problems started. The experiments then operated on a limited time basis until September 30, 1980. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology:  Nimbus Chronology 11 December 1972 Nimbus 5 Mass: 722 kg. Perigee: 1,088 km. Apogee: 1,101 km. Inclination: 100.1 deg. Environmental research. Primary experiments included temperature-humidity infrared radiometer (THIR) for measuring day and night surface and cloudtop temperatures as well as the water vapor content of the upper atmosphere electrically scanning microwave radiometer (ESMR) for mapping the microwave radiation from the earth's surface and atmosphere infrared temperature profile radiometer (ITPR) for obtaining vertical profiles of temperature and moisture Nimbus E microwave spectrometer (NEMS) for determining tropospheric temperature profiles, atmospheric water vapor abundances, and cloud liquid water contents selective chopper radiometer (SCR) for observing the global temperature structure of the atmosphere, and surface composition mapping radiometer (SCMR) for measuring the differences in the thermal emission characteristics of the earth's surface. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology:  Nimbus Chronology 12 June 1975 Nimbus 6 Mass: 829 kg. Perigee: 1,101 km. Apogee: 1,114 km. Inclination: 100.0 deg. Environmental research. The experiments selected for Nimbus-6 were earth radiation budget (ERB) electrically scanning microwave radiometer (ESMR) high-resolution infrared radiation sounder (HIRS) limb radiance inversion radiometer (LRIR) pressure modulated radiometer (PMR) scanning microwave spectrometer (SCAMS) temperature-humidity infrared radiometer (THIR) tracking and data relay experiment (T+DRE), and the tropical wind energy conversion and reference level experiment (TWERLE). This complement of advanced sensors was capable of mapping tropospheric temperature, water vapor abundance, and cloud water content; providing vertical profiles of temperature, ozone, and water vapor; transmitting real-time data to a geostationary spacecraft (ATS 6); and yielding data on the earth's radiation budget. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Nimbus Chronology:  Nimbus Chronology 13 October 1978 Nimbus 7 Mass: 907 kg. Perigee: 943 km. Apogee: 957 km. Inclination: 99.0 deg. Environmental research. The experiments carried were limb infrared monitoring of the stratosphere (LIMS) stratospheric and mesopheric sounder (SAMS) coastal-zone color scanner (CZCS) stratospheric aerosol measurement (SAM II) earth radiation budget (ERB) scanning multichannel microwave radiometer (SMMR) solar backscatter UV and total ozone mapping spectrometer (SBUV/TOMS), and temperature-humidity infrared radiometer (THIR) These sensors were capable of observing several parameters at and below the mesospheric levels. After 11 years in orbit, three experiments, SAM II, SBUV/TOMS, and ERB, were still functioning successfully. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nimbus.htm Experimental Instrumentation on-board Nimbus Satellites :  Experimental Instrumentation on-board Nimbus Satellites Visible Imagery Acronyms Instruments Satellites AVCS Advanced Vidicon Camera System Nimbus 1 and 2 IDCS Image Dissector Camera System Nimbus 3 and 4 Infrared Imaging Acronyms Instruments Satellites HRIR High Resolution Infrared Radiometer Nimbus 1, 2, 3 MRIR Medium Resolution Infrared Radiometer Nimbus 2 and 3 THIR Temp.-Humidity Infrared Radiometer Nimbus 4 – 7 Microwave Imaging Acronyms Instruments Satellites ESMR Electronic Scanning Microwave Radiometer Nimbus 5 & 6 SMMR Scanning Multispectral Microwave Radiometer Nimbus 7 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus_sensor.html Experimental Instrumentation on-board Nimbus Satellites:  Experimental Instrumentation on-board Nimbus Satellites http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus.html Sounding Acronyms Instruments Satellites HIRS High Resolution Infrared Sounder Nimbus 6 IRIS Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer Nimbus 3 and 4 LIMS Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere Nimbus 7 LRIR Limb Radiance Inversion Radiometer Nimbus 6 NEMS Nimbus E Microwave Spectrometer Nimbus 5 PMR Pressure Modulated Radiometer Nimbus 6 SAMS Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder Nimbus 7 SCAMS Scanning Microwave Spectrometer Nimbus 6 SCR Selective Chopper Radiometer Nimbus 4 and 5 SIRS Satellite Infrared Spectrometer Nimbus 3 and 4 Experimental Instrumentation on-board Nimbus Satellites:  Experimental Instrumentation on-board Nimbus Satellites Others Acronyms Instruments Satellites BUV Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectrometer Nimbus 4 CZCS Costal Zone Color Scanner Nimbus 7 ERB Earth Radiation Budget Nimbus 6 and 7 SAMII Stratospheric Aerosol Measurement-II Nimbus 7 SCMR Surface Composition Mapping Radiometer Nimbus 5 SBUV/TOMS Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet/Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Nimbus 7 TWERLE Tropical Wind Energy Conversion and Reference Level Experiment Nimbus 6 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/nimbus.html Nimbus-7 (image courtesy of NASA) :  Nimbus-7 (image courtesy of NASA) http://snr.unl.edu/metr351-03/jmcanally/ozoneholes.html Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS):  Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) The ninth instrument in the Nimbus 7 satellite First satellite sensor specifically designed to measure subtle color variations in near-shore waters of the ocean Nimbus 7 is a sun-synchronous, near polar, 955-km orbit; its cycle is 6 days. Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS):  Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) Characteristics of the Nimbus 7 CZCS p154. Ceased operations in December 1986. FMI: NOAA’s Satellite Data Services Division Imagery and data of Geographical Regions http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEAWIFS/IMAGES/CZCS_DATA.html Remote Sensing Application:  Remote Sensing Application Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Remote sensing is an important tool for environmental monitoring and assessment. Remote sensing can provide a record of change over time and can record this information for small and large areas ranging from a local to a global scale. http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Ocean Color and Phytoplankton concentration Ocean color analysis refers to a method of indicating the "health" of the ocean, by measuring oceanic biological activity by optical means . Phytoplankton, are significant building blocks in the world's food chain and grow with the assistance of sunlight and the pigment chlorophyll. Chlorophyll, which absorbs red light (resulting in the ocean's blue-green colour) is considered a good indicator of the health of the ocean and its level of productivity. http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Phytoplankton Concentration - NASA/NIMBUS CZCS Satellite http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Higher phytoplankton concentrations are displayed in green-yellow-red colors; lower concentrations in blue-magenta color. Note major discharge areas in low latitudes such as the Amazon River, South America have high phytoplankton concentrations along the coast due to discharges from rivers and nutrient upwelling. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment The ability to map the spatial and temporal patterns of ocean color over regional and global scales has provided important insights into the fundamental properties and processes in the marine biosphere Mapping and understanding changes in ocean colour can assist in the management of fish stocks and other aquatic life, help define harvest quotas, monitor the water quality and allow for the identification of human and natural water pollution such as oil or algal blooms, which are dangerous to fish farms and other shell fish industries. In general, ocean productivity appears highest in coastal areas due to their proximity to nutrient upwelling and circulation conditions that favour nutrient accumulation. http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Mapping and monitoring ozone in the atmosphere Ozone (O3) is produced in the upper atmosphere through the interaction of normal oxygen molecules (O2) with incoming ultraviolet radiation. It has the ability to prevent much of the ultraviolet radiation from reaching the surface of the earth, thus protecting animal life. The Ozone concentration of the earth's atmosphere has been mapped by the NOAA/TIROS and NASA/NIMBUS satellite series since 1979. These studies are part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program which is part of the larger international Global Change Research Program. http://snr.unl.edu/metr351-03/jmcanally/ozoneholes.html http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment In addition to ozone, the NIMBUS satellite also measured the amount of nitric acid in the upper atmosphere. These naturally occurring low levels of nitric acid in the atmosphere (up to12 parts per billion ) are produced by the interaction of nitrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere. In polar regions, atmospheric nitric acid is more concentrated reflecting the greater flux of charged particles and ultraviolet radiation. http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Environmental Monitoring & Assessment:  Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Atmospheric Nitric Acid - NASA/NIMBUS satellite sensor http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec14.html Left image is of the upper stratosphere; Light image is of the lower stratosphere; Concentrations of atmospheric nitric acid: < 4 ppb = blue 4 to 12 ppb = green-yellow-red-white

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