The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) has recovered and made public the Nimbus 5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) Level 1 Calibrated Brightness Temperature Data. Nimbus 5, launched on December 11, 1972, was the fifth satellite in NASA’s Nimbus program. The ESMR data were originally recorded on 9-track magnetic tapes and stored at the Washington National Records Center. The data, in its original format, has been transferred to magnetic hard disks, from which individual files representing data from each orbit, along with the accompanying metadata, are then extracted and archived at the GES DISC. The resulting files contain ESMR calibrated brightness temperature, geolocation, time, and other instrument housekeeping information.
The ESMR instrument objectives were (1) to derive the liquid water content of clouds from brightness temperatures over oceans, (2) to observe differences between sea ice and the open sea over the polar caps, and (3) to test the feasibility of inferring surface composition and soil moisture. ESMR was a precursor to the Nimbus 7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR), and the DMSP Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) instruments. Both SMMR and SSM/I have been vital for the observation of polar sea ice coverage and change.
The ESMR Level 1 data are available from December 11, 1972 to May 16, 1977. A data file typically contains one orbit’s acquisition of data.
Questions or comments? Email the NASA GES DISC Help Desk: firstname.lastname@example.org.