The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) has recovered and made public the Nimbus 3 Medium-Resolution Infrared Radiometer (MRIR) Level 1 Meteorological Radiance Data. Nimbus 3 was launched on April 14, 1969. The MRIR data were originally archived on 9-track magnetic tapes and stored at the Washington National Records Center, and were transferred to digital files on magnetic hard disks, from which the original data files were extracted. These files contain radiances expressed as equivalent blackbody temperatures along with geolocation, time, and other housekeeping information.
The MRIR experiment flown on Nimbus 3 was a follow-on to the MRIR flown on Nimbus 2. MRIR was designed to measure electromagnetic radiation emitted and reflected from the Earth and its atmosphere in 5 wavelength regions:
- 6.5 to 7.0 µm - This channel covers the 6.7 µm water vapor absorption band.
- 10 to 11 µm - Operating in an atmospheric "window," this channel measures surface or near-surface temperatures over clear portions of the atmosphere.
- 14.5 to 15.5 µm - This channel, centered about the strong absorption band of CO2 at 15 µm, measures radiation which emanates primarily from the stratosphere.
- 20 to 23 µm - This channel yields data from the spectral region containing the broad rotational absorption bands of water vapor.
- 0.2 to 4.0 µm - This channel provides information on the intensity of the reflected solar energy from the earth and its atmosphere.
The MRIR Level 1 data are available from April 15, 1969 through February 4, 1970. A file typically contains one orbit of data.
Nimbus heritage data set access and documentation can be found at:
Note on the image: The National Weather Service, now part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), made use of data and imagery from the NASA Nimbus satellite instruments.
Questions or comments? Email the NASA GES DISC Help Desk: firstname.lastname@example.org