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Flat Plate Radiometer (FPR)

NSSDCA ID: 1970-008A-02

Mission Name: ITOS 1
Principal Investigator:Dr. Verner E. Suomi


The ITOS 1 flat plate radiometer (FPR) system was designed to provide a measurement of the global distribution of reflected solar and longwave radiation leaving the earth. The FPR system consisted of four detectors, an analog-to-digital converter, and a tape recorder. The detectors had a hemispheric field of view of 2 pi ster and were mounted on the satellite baseplate facing earthward. The detectors used coated aluminum discs as a sensing element. Two of the discs were white and responded only to infrared energy (7 to 30 micrometers) radiated from the earth and its atmosphere. The other two discs were painted black and had a broader band sensitivity (0.3 to 30 micrometers). Two discs (one of each type) had a thermistor bolometer mounted on the back surface to measure the disc temperature. The other two discs used thermopiles. An identical experiment was flown on ESSA 3, 5, 7, and 9. For a full description of the FPR system, see 'Studies in atmospheric energetics based on aerospace probings, annual report - 1967,' pages 179 to 189, Dept. of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, March 1968. The experiment was a success, and good data were obtained until November 16, 1970, when the incremental tape recorder onboard failed. However, limited real-time data were obtained until June 18, 1971. Data from this experiment are maintained on magnetic tape at NOAA-NESS, Suitland, MD.

Alternate Names

  • FPR

Funding Agency

  • Environmental Science Service Administration (United States)


    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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