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Dual Vidicon Cameras

NSSDCA ID: 1975-087A-01

Mission Name: Meteor 1-22
Principal Investigator:


The Meteor 1 dual vidicon camera system provided daytime pictures of the earth's cloud cover distribution, local storms, and global weather systems for operational use by the Soviet Hydrometeorological Service. The instrumentation consisted of two identical vidicon cameras that were mounted in the satellite base and were directed toward the earth. Meteor 1 had slightly modified equipment with a field of view 50 percent greater than the lower orbiting satellites of the Meteor series. Each camera viewed a 750- by 750-km area -- one to the left and the other to the right of nadir with a resolution of about 1.25 k at an average satellite height of 879 km. The cameras took a one-frame image of the earth's cloud cover with slight overlapping of successive frames to provide continuous coverage. The cameras switched on automatically any time the sun was more than 5 deg above the horizon. Because the earth illumination varied so much, automatic sensors adjusted the camera apertures to produce high-quality pictures under a variety of light conditions. The image formed by each vidicon tube was transmitted directly to the ground if the satellite was in radio contact with one of the three ground stations in Moscow, Novosibirsk, or Vladivostok, or was recorded on semiconductor disk for later transmission if the satellite was beyond the zone of radio communication. The TV images received by these ground stations were processed and transmitted ot the Hydrometeorological Center in Moscow where they were analyzed and used in various forecast and analysis products. The pictures were archived at the Hydrometeorological Center. Although the Meteor 1 cameras had 2.5 times the resolution of those carried on the ESSA satellites, they could not provide continuous overlapping global coverage as do the ESSA cameras owing to the lower orbit of the Meteor 1 satellite (879 km compared to 1400 km). Thus, to close the gaps in coverage, at least two Meteor satellites were required in the weather satellite system. In addition, cloud cover mosaics were produced from 10 or more individual cloud cover pictures at the Hydrometeorological Center to provide a more comprehensive view of global weather systems.

Alternate Names

  • Meteor1-22/DualVidiconCameras

Funding Agency

  • Soviet Hydrometeorological Service (U.S.S.R)


  • 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 InvestigatorSoviet Hydrometeorological Service
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