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Contributors: jbedet

The Nimbus III was launched on April 14 1969 and was a major upgrade from the Nimbus II satellite with an increase in the number of meteorological experiments from 4 to 7:

  • High Resolution Infrared Radiometer (HRIR)

  • Medium Resolution Infrared Radiometer (MRIR)

  • Infrared interferometer Spectrometer (IRIS)

  • Satellite Infrared Spectrometer (SIRS)

  • Monitor of Ultraviolet Solar Energy (MUSE)

  • Image Dissector Camera System (IDCS)

  • Interrogation, Recording and Location System (IRLS)

The Nimbus III Medium Resolution Infrared Radiometer (MRIR) was designed to measure electromagnetic radiation emitted and reflected from the earth and its atmosphere at 5 wavelengths.

The five wavelengths regions are as follows:

  • 6.5 to 7.0 microns- This channel covers the 6.7 micron water vapor absorption band. Its purpose is to provide information on water vapor distribution in the upper troposphere and, in conjunction with the other channels to provide relative humidities at these altitudes
  • 10 to 11 microns - microns- This channel measures surface or near surface temperatures over clear portions of the atmosphere. It also provides cloud cover and cloud height information (day and night).
  • 14.5 to 15.5 microns – This channel, centered about the strong absorption band of C02 at 15 microns, measures radiation which emanates primarily from the stratosphere.
  • 20 to 23 microns – This channel yields data from the spectral region containing the broad rotational absorption bands of water vapor. It provides similar information to the 6.5 to 7.0 microns channel except that the flux is mostly from the radiated from the lower atmosphere.
  • 0.2 to 4.0 microns – This channel covers more than 99% of the solar spectrum and yields information on the intensity of the reflected solar energy from the earth and its atmosphere.


The Nimbus III MRIR experiment data collection is from April 15, 1969 through February 4, 1970.

More information can be found in the Nimbus III MRIR README file or Nimbus III users' guide.

You may download the Nimbus III MRIR 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 III MRIR and related data sets, please let us know.


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Last updated: Sep 14, 2015 02:17 PM ET