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Operational Vertical Sounder

NSSDCA ID: 1980-043A-02

Mission Name: NOAA-B
Principal Investigator:


The NOAA-B operational sounder consisted of three instruments designed to determine radiances needed to calculate temperature and humidity profiles of the atmosphere from the surface to the stratosphere (approximately 1 mb). The first instrument, the basic sounding unit (BSU), had 14 channels and was to make measurements in the following spectral intervals -- channel 1 - the 3.7-micrometer window region, channel 2 - the 4.3-micrometer CO2 band, channel 3 - the 9.7-micrometer ozone band, channel 4 - the 11.1-micrometer window region, channels 5 through 11 - the 15-micrometer CO2 band (13.3, 13.6, 14.0, 14.3, 14.5, 14.75, and 15.0), and channels 12 through 14 - the 18-micrometer rotational water vapor bands (18.8, 23.15, and 29.4). The second instrument, the stratospheric sounding unit, had three channels operating at 14.97 micrometers using selective absorption by passing the incoming radiation through three pressure modulated cells containing CO2. The third instrument, the microwave sounding unit, had four channels operating in the 50 to 60 GHz oxygen band (50.3, 53.7, 55.0, and 57.9) to obtain temperature profiles which were free of cloud interference. The instruments were cross-course scanning devices utilizing a step to provide a traverse scan while the orbital motion of the satellite was to provide scanning in the orthogonal direction. Similar experiments were flown on other spacecraft in the TIROS-N/NOAA series.

Alternate Names

  • NOAA-B/OperationalVerticalSounder

Facts in Brief

Mass: 63.4 kg
Power (avg): 75 W

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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