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Data Collection and Platform Location System (DCLS)

NSSDCA ID: 1979-057A-03

Mission Name: NOAA 6
Principal Investigator:


The Data Collection and Platform Location System (DCPLS) on NOAA 6, also known as ARGOS, was designed and built in France to meet the meteorological data needs of the United States and to support the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP). The system received low-duty-cycle transmissions of meteorological observations from free-floating balloons, ocean buoys, other satellites, and fixed ground-based sensor platforms distributed around the globe. These observations were organized on board the spacecraft and retransmitted when the spacecraft came within range of a command and data acquisition (CDA) station. For free-moving balloons, the Doppler frequency shift of the transmitted signal was observed to calculate the location of the balloons. The DCLS was expected, for a moving sensor platform, to have a location accuracy of 3 to 5 km rms, and a velocity accuracy of 1 to 1.6 m/s. This system had the capability of acquiring data from up to 4000 platforms per day. Identical experiments were flown on other spacecraft in the TIROS-N/NOAA series. Processing and dissemination of data were handled by CNES in Toulouse, France.

Alternate Names

  • DCLS
  • Data Collection and Platform Location Subsystem (DCS)

Facts in Brief

Mass: 25 kg
Power (avg): 20 W

Funding Agency

  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)


  • Earth Science: None assigned

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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