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Low-Resolution Omnidirectional Radiometer

NSSDCA ID: 1961-017A-01

Mission Name: TIROS 3
Principal Investigator:Dr. Verner E. Suomi


The TIROS 3 low-resolution omnidirectional readiometer consisted primarily of two sets of bolometers in the form of hollow aluminum hemipsheres, mounted on opposite sides of the spacecraft, whose optical axes were parallel to the spin axis. The bolometers were thermally isolated from but in close proximity to reflecting mirrors so that the hemispheres behaved very much like isolated spheres in space. The experiment was designed to measure the amount of solar energy absorbed, reflected, and emitted by the earth and its atmosphere. One bolometer in each set was painted black, and one was painted white. The black bolometer absorbed most of the incident radiation while the white bolometer was sensitive mainly to radiation with wavelengths longer that approximately 4 micrometers. Reflected and emitted radiation could thus be separated. The sensor temperatures were measured by thermistors fastened to the inside of the hollow hemispheres. The sensor temeratures, taken every 29 sec, were an average of the two temperatures from the matched thermistors. The experiment was a success, and usable data were received from July 12, 1961, to October 20, 1961. Identical experiments were flown on TIROS 4 and 7, and a similar one was carried on Explorer 7.

Alternate Names

  • TIROS3/Low-ResolutionOmnidirectionalRadiometer

Facts in Brief

Mass: 1.4 kg
Power (avg): 0.2 W

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
Dr. Verner E. SuomiPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
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