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Imaging Science (ISS)

NSSDC ID: 1977-084A-01
Mission Name: Voyager 1
Principal Investigator: Dr. Bradford A. Smith


The photographic experiment used a two-camera system, based on the Mariner 10 system. This system included one narrow-angle, long-focal-length camera and one wide-angle, short-focal-length camera. The maximum resolution achievable depended on the actual trajectory on this multi-encounter mission, but the resolution was as high as 0.5 to 1.0 km on the closest approaches to some objects. At Jupiter and Saturn, the resolution was better than 20 km and 5 km, respectively. The objectives of the experiment were to photograph global motions and cloud distributions on Jupiter and Saturn, gross dynamical properties, zonal rotation, orientation of spin axis, zonal shear, vertical shear, flow instabilities, spots, and spectrum of scale of atmospheric motions in time and space. Additional objectives included the study of the mode of release of internal energy flux (search for convection cells and rolls), study of growth, dissipation, morphology, and vertical structure of cloud complexes, gross optical properties, global and localized scattering function in the visible spectrum, polarimetry, nature of chromophores (their structure and development), and high resolution of the Great Red Spot. The objectives of the satellite encounters included the following: (1) gross characteristics (size, shape, rotation, spin axis, cartography, improved ephemerides, and masses), (2) geology (major physiographic provinces, impact and volcanic features, lineaments, polar caps, erosion processes, low- and high-density satellite comparative studies, detection of atmospheres, frosts, and limb stratification of aerosols), and (3) surface properties (colorimetry, scattering function, nature of brightness variation, and search for new satellites). Studies of Saturn's rings included (1) resolution of individual ring components or clumps of material, (2) vertical and radial distribution of material at very high resolution, (3) scattering function, (4) coarse polarimetry, (5) occultation - optical depth, and (6) distinguishing different types of material in the rings. Other objectives were to search for new comets, asteroids, and targets of opportunity.

Alternate Names

  • ISS

Facts in Brief

Mass: 38.2 kg
Power (avg): 35.0 W
Bit rate (avg): 115.0 bps

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres
  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics
  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Garry E. HuntTeam MemberUniversity College,
Dr. Tobias C. OwenTeam MemberState University of New York 
Dr. Bradford A. SmithTeam LeaderUniversity of Arizona 
Dr. Geoffrey S. BriggsTeam MemberNASA
Mr. Merton E. DaviesTeam MemberRand Corporation 
Dr. Harold MasurskyTeam MemberUS Geological Survey 
Dr. Carl SaganTeam MemberCornell University 
Dr. Verner E. SuomiTeam MemberUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison 
Dr. Torrence V. JohnsonTeam MemberNASA Jet Propulsion
Dr. Lawrence A. SoderblomDeputy Team LeaderUS Geological
Mr. Alan F. Cook, IITeam MemberSmithsonian Astrophysical Observatory 
Mr. G. Edward Danielson, Jr.Team MemberCalifornia Institute of

Selected References

Smith, B. A., et al., Encounter with Saturn: Voyager 1 imaging science results, Science, 212, No. 4491, 163-191, Apr. 1981.

Smith, B. A., et al., The Jupiter system through the eyes of Voyager 1, Science, 204, No. 4396, 951-971, June 1979.

Smith, B. A., et al., Voyager imaging experiment, Space Sci. Rev., 21, No. 2, 103-127, Nov. 1977.

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