Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: GES DISC Home Nimbus

Nimbus Overview



Welcome to the Nimbus data support web site located at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC). The GES DISC provides end-to-end support for some public data products from the Nimbus program.

The Nimbus program was initiated in early 1960's to develop NASA's “second generation” of meteorological satellites. The objectives of the program were to develop advanced passive radiometer and spectrometer sensors to study the atmosphere and ocean and to evaluate new active and passive sensors.


Some of the major successes and contributions of the Nimbus program to the field of meteorology were to provide:

  • high resolution global television cloud and storm mapping photography

  • high resolution infrared pictures for nighttime cloud mapping, and cloud top temperature

  • quantitative measurements of atmospheric structures


Following is a list of Nimbus products that have been restored from magnetic tapes and are now archived at the GES DISC:


Attention Data Users: Documentation for many of the legacy missions for which the GES DISC  is recovering data from warehoused tapes has proven hard to find.  Even for the documentation that has been preserved, in some cases, it does not appear to have been the final version.  It seems likely that a potential source of such documentation would be with those who are seeking to use the data.   Therefore, to increase the completeness and accuracy of our documentation, the GES DISC is requesting that you contact our user services if you are aware of any related sources of documentation from these early missions.


Nimbus 70mm film data was also recovered for some products and has been stored at the GES DISC.


Nimbus restored tapes were stored to files on hard disks in a binary (TAP) format. No changes or conversion were applied to the Nimbus products and consequently the data records are still stored in an IBM 36 bit binary format. In order to emulate the original data record structure on the tapes, TAP header words, specifying the data record lengths, were added before and after each data record. The tape file format and data structures are described in details in the README of each product.


You may download the Nimbus data products by selecting the "Data Holding" link on the menu bar. If you have questions about GES DISC data products and services for the Nimbus and related data sets, please let us know.

Document Actions
NASA Logo -
NASA Privacy Policy and Important Notices
Last updated: Jun 15, 2016 12:30 PM ET