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Television Camera System

NSSDCA ID: 1960-016A-03

Mission Name: TIROS 2
Principal Investigator:Mr. H. I. Butler


The TIROS 2 TV system was designed to further research in obtaining and using TV cloudcover pictures from satellites. The experiment consisted of two independent pairs of TV cameras, magnetic tape recorders, and TV transmitters. The two sensor units were capable of concurrent or independent operation. The cameras, one wide angle (104 deg) and one narrow angle (12 deg), were mounted on the baseplate of the spacecraft with their optical axes parellel to the spin axis, which was in the orbital plane. The cameras were automatically triggered into action only when they came in view of the earth. The pictures were transmitted directly to either of two ground receiving stations or stored on magnetic tape for later playback, depending on whether the satellite was within or beyond the communication range of the station. The TV cameras used 500-scan-line, 1.27-cm vidicons. The recorders could store up to 32 frames of pictures. Transmission of the 32-frame sequence was accomplished in 100 sec by a 3-W FM transmitter operating at nominal frequency of 237 mHz. At nominal attitude and altitude (approximately 700 km), a picture taken by the wide-angle camera covered a 1200- by 1200-km square with a spatial resolution of 2.5 to 3.0 km at nadir. The narrow-angle camera covered a 120- by 120-km square and had a resolution of 0.3 to 0.8 km. The experiment was capable of producing daytime cloudcover pictures for the region 55 deg S to 55 deg N lat. Deposits on the lens of the wide-angle camera caused all its pictures to be of very poor quality. The remaining camera operated normally until February 1, 1961, and sporadically thereafter until September 27, 1961. The experiment was a success, with over 25,000 usable pictures transmitted. Data from the experiment are available from the National Climatic Center, Asheville, NC. For an index of these data, see 'Catalog of Meteorological Satellite Data - TIROS 2, Television Cloud Photography,' for sale from the U.S. superintendent of documents -- or see data set 61-016A-03A.

Alternate Names

  • TIROS2/TelevisionCameraSystem

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. H. I. ButlerPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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