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Television Camera System

NSSDCA ID: 1963-054A-01

Mission Name: TIROS 8
Principal Investigator:


The TIROS 8 TV system was designed to further research in obtaining and using TV cloudcover pictures from satellites. The experiment instrumentation consisted of a single wide-angle (104 deg) lens TV camera, a two-track magnetic tape recorder, and a transmitter. The camera was mounted on the baseplate of the spacecraft, with its optical axis parallel to the satellite spin axis. The 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 camera was automatically triggered into action only when it came in view of the earth. The TV tube was a 500-scan-line, 1.27-cm vidicon. The recorder could store up to 32 frames of pictures. The picture frames were transmitted 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 covered a 1200- by 1200-km square with a spatial resolution of 2.5 to 3.0 km at nadir. The experiment was capable of producing cloudcover pictures of the region between 65 deg s and 65 deg n. The experiment performed normally after launch, and good data were obtained until August 31, 1965. Beginning early in 1965 and until February 12, 1966, the satellite was programmed to take only the pictures required to supplement the photographic coverage acquired by other satellites in the series. After that time, the experiment was activiated only for engineering checks until July 1, 1967. Data from this experiment are available from the National Climatic Center, Asheville, NC. For an index of these data, see 'Catalog of Meteorological Satellite Data - TIROS 8 Television Cloud Photography,' parts 1 through 3, sold by the U.S. superintendent of documents -- or see data set 63-054A-01A.

Alternate Names

  • TIROS8/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
Principal InvestigatorNOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
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