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TIROS-N was an operational meteorological satellite for use in the National Operational Environmental Satellite System (NOESS) and for the support of the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) during 1978-84. The satellite design provided an economical and stable sun-synchronous platform for advanced operational instruments to measure the earth's atmosphere, its surface and cloudcover, and the near-space environment. Primary sensors included an advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) for observing daytime and nighttime global cloud cover, and a TIROS operational vertical sounder (TOVS) for obtaining temperature and water-vapor profiles through the earth's atmosphere. Secondary experiments consisted of a space environment monitor (SEM), which measured the proton and electron fluxes near the earth, and a data collection system (DCS), which processed and relayed to central data acquisition stations the various meteorological data received from free-floating balloons and ocean buoys distributed around the globe. The satellite was based upon the Block 5D spacecraft bus developed for the U.S. Air Force, and it was capable of maintaining an earth-pointing accuracy of better than plus or minus 0.1 deg with a motion rate of less than 0.035 deg/s. For a more detailed description, see A. Schwalb, "The TIROS-N/NOAA A-G Satellite Series," NOAA Tech. Mem. Ness 95, 1978.

Alternate Names

  • 11060

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1978-10-13
Launch Vehicle: Atlas F
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 588.9 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (United States)
  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)


  • Communications
  • Space Physics
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Ray J. ArnoldProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Gerald W. LonganeckerProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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