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GES DISC continues data recovery and archival for Nimbus 3 and Nimbus 4

Instrumental data from the 1970s collected by pioneering Earth Observing satellites is available

GES DISC continues data recovery and archival for Nimbus 3 and Nimbus 4

Nimbus 4 THIR visible (left) and thermal infrared (right) images of the Gulf of Mexico

GES DISC continues data recovery and archival for Nimbus 3 and Nimbus 4

The Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) has achieved new milestones in the continuing  Nimbus satellite data recovery effort.  Data sets for Nimbus 3 and Nimbus 4 are now available on the GES DISC Nimbus Web pages (http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/nimbus).

In addition to the data, supporting documents are available as well – Users Guides, ReadMe files, data collection reports, etc. (http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/nimbus/documentation).

The following data sets are now archived from Nimbus 3 and Nimbus 4:

 

Nimbus 3 was launched on April 14, 1969 (April 14, 2011 marks the 42nd anniversary of the launch).  The HRIR instrument operated to January 25, 1970.    The MRIR instrument operated to September 25, 1970, when a rear horizon scanner on the satellite failed, making it essentially impossible to continue observations.

 

Sketch of Nimbus 3 satellite       Sketch of Nimbus 4 satellite

Nimbus 3 (left), Nimbus 4 (right).  Click on either image to see the sketch larger.

Nimbus 4 was launched on April 8, 1970, (so the 41st anniversary of its launch was on April 8, 2011).   All of the satellite instruments operated well until the satellite began having attitude control problems on April 14, 1971. 

 

Nimbus 3 IDCS image of the Southeastern United States

Image of the southeastern United States from the Nimbus 3 Image Dissector Camera System (IDCS).

 

Nimbus 4 THIR image of the Gulf of Mexico

Visible (left) and infrared (right) image from the Nimbus 4 THIR over the Gulf of Mexico.   The final Nimbus satellite, Nimbus 7, was launched just a few days before these images were acquired, on October 24, 1978.   Clouds and sea surface temperatures are detected in the righthand infrared image.

 

Please contact the GES DISC Help Desk if you have any questions. (help-disc@listserv.gsfc.nasa.gov)

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Last updated: Apr 13, 2011 02:48 PM ET
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