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Nimbus II HRIR

The Nimbus II satellite was launched on May 15, 1966 on a Thrust Augmented Thor (TAT)/ Agena B vehicle. The near-circular orbit had an apogee of 1179 km and a perigee height of 1095 km with an inclination of 100.311 degrees and a nodal period of 108.17 minutes.

Three instruments were on board of the spacecraft. 

  • An Advanced Vidicon Camera System (AVCS) provided clouds in the earth atmosphere and, in clear areas, terrestrial features on the earth's surface (only during day-time).

  • A Medium Resolution Infrared Radiometer (MRIR) measured the  electromagnetic radiation emitted and reflected from the earth and the atmosphere in five selected wavelengths.

  • A High Resolution Infrared Radiometer (HRIR) was available to provide earth cloud cover (nigh-time) and to measure the temperatures of cloud tops and terrain features.

The Nimbus II HRIR instrument was operational from May 16, 1966 through November 15, 1966. The Nimbus II High Resolution Infrared Radiometer (HRIR) was designed to perform two major functions: First, to map the Earth's cloud cover at night to complement the television coverage during the daytime portion of the orbit, and second, to measure the temperature of cloud tops and terrain features.

The single scanning radiometer uses a PBSe photoconductive detector cell and provides measurements of blackbody temperatures 210K – 330K. The radiometer operates in the 3.5 to 4.1 micron window. The Scan mirror is inclined to 45 degrees with a scan rate of 44.7 revolutions per minute. The Instantaneous field of view is 8.8 milliradians and the scan line separation is 8.3 km. The ground resolution is approximately 8 km at nadir.

More information can be found in the Nimbus II HRIR Readme file or the Nimbus II Users' Guide.

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


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Last updated: Sep 14, 2015 02:20 PM ET