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Television Camera System

NSSDCA ID: 1962-047A-01

Mission Name: TIROS 6
Principal Investigator:


The TIROS 6 TV system was designed to obtain data for operational meteorological use and 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 medium angle (80 deg), were mounted on the baseplate of the spacecraft with their optical axes parallel to the spacecraft 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 TV camera system could operate in either real-time or tape recorder mode, depending on whether the spacecraft was within or beyond communication range of either of two ground receiving stations. The TV cameras used 500-scan-line, 1.27-cm vidicons. The receivers could store up to 32 frames of pictures. Transmission of the 32-frame sequence was accomplished in 100 sec by a 2-w FM transmitter operating at a nominal frequency of 235 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 medium-angle camera covered a 725- by 725-km square and had a resolution of 2 km. The experiment was capable of producing daytime cloudcover pictures for the region 65 deg s to 65 deg n lat. The camera systems performed normally after launch until November 29, 1962, when the medium-angle camera vidicon failed. The remaining camera system failed on October 21, 1963. The experiment transmitted approximately 60,000 meteorologically useful pictures and furnished information leading to many storm advisories in both the U.S. and abroad. Data from this experiment are available from the National Climatic Center, Asheville, NC. For a complete index of these data, see 'Catalog of Meteorological Satellite Data - TIROS 6 Television Cloud Photography,' for sale from the U.S. superintendent of documents -- or see data set 62-047A-01A.

Alternate Names

  • TIROS6/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. R. M. RadosGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Principal InvestigatorNOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
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