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Vertical Temperature Profile Radiometer

NSSDCA ID: 1973-086A-04

Mission Name: NOAA 3
Principal Investigator:


The ITOS-F Vertical Profile Temperature Radiometer (VTPR) sensed the radiance energy from atmospheric carbon dioxide in six narrow spectral regions centered at 15.0, 14.8, 14.4, 14.1, 13.8, and 13.4 microns. The atmospheric gross water vapor content was determined from measurements centered at 18.7 microns. Measurements were also taken in the 12.0-micron spectral region to determine surface/cloudtop temperatures. The VTPR consisted of an optical system, a detector and associated electronics, and a scanning mirror. The scanning mirror looked at the earth's surface perpendicular to the satellite's orbital path. As each area was scanned, the optcial system collected, filtered, and detected the radiation from the earth into the eight spectral intervals. The field of view contributing to one profile was approximately 50 km sq at the ground. The radiometer operated continuously, taking measurements over every part of the earth's surface twice a day. The data were recorded throughout the orbit and played back on command when the satellite was within communication range of a command and acquisition station. Ground personnel used the data to compute temperature-pressure profiles to altitudes as high as 30 km. All operational data from this experiment will be handled by NOAA and eventually archived at the National Climatic Center, Asheville, NC. Identical experiments were flown on ITOS-D, -E, and -G.

Alternate Names

  • VTPR

Funding Agency

  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (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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