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NOAA-I continues the third-generation operational, polar orbiting, meteorological satellite series operated by the National Environmental Satellite Service (NESS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA-I continues the series of Advanced TIROS-N (ATN) spacecraft begun with the launch of NOAA-8 (NOAA-E) in 1983. NOAA-I will be in an afternoon equator-crossing orbit and is intended to replace the NOAA-11 (NOAA-H) as the prime afternoon spacecraft. The goal of the NOAA/NESS polar orbiting program is to provide output products used in meteorological prediction and warning, oceanographic and hydrologic services, and space environment monitoring. The polar orbiting system complements the NOAA/NESS geostationary meteorological satellite program (GOES). The NOAA-I Advanced TIROS-N spacecraft is based on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Block 5D spacecraft and is modified version of the TIROS-N spacecraft (NOAA1-5). The spacecraft structure consists of four components: (1) the Reaction System Support (RSS); (2) the Equipment Support Module (ESM), which has been expanded from the TIROS-N design; (3) the Instrument Mounting Platform (IMP); and (4) the Solar Array (SA). All of the instruments are located on the ESM and the IMP. The spacecraft power is provided by a direct energy transfer system from the single solar array which is comprised of eight panels of solar cells. The power system for the ATN has been upgraded from the previous TIROS-N design. The in-orbit Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADACS) provides three-axis pointing control by controlling torque in three mutually orthogonal momentum wheels with input from the Earth Sensor Assembly (ESA) for pitch, roll, and yaw updates. The ADACS controls the spacecraft attitude so that orientation of the three axes is maintained to within +/- 0.2 degrees and pitch, roll, and yaw to within 0.1 degree. The ADACS consists of the Earth Sensor Assembly (ESA), the Sun Sensor Assembly (SSA), four Reaction Wheel Assemblies (RWA), two roll/yaw coils (RYC), two pitch torquing coils (PTC), four gyros, and computer software for data processing. The ATN data handling subsystem, which is only slightly changed from the TIROS-N design to accomodate the additional instruments, consists of the TIROS Information Processor (TIP) for low data rate instruments, the Manipulated Information Rate Processor (MIRP) for high data rate AVHRR, digital tape recorders (DTR), and a cross strap Unit (XSU). The NOAA-I instrument complement consists of (1) the 5-channel Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/2 (AVHRR/2); (2) the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS), which consists of the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU), the Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) and the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS/2); (3) the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer (SBUV/2), which is similar to the SBUV on Nimbus-7 and is only flown on the afternoon orbiters; (4) the Search and Rescue System (S&R); (5) the Space Environment Monitor (SEM), which consists of the Total Energy Detector (TED) and the Medium Energy Proton and Electron Detector (MEPED); (6) the French/CNES-provided ARGOS Data Collection System (DCS); and two experimental sensors sponsord by the Office of Naval Reseach (ONR): (7) Magnetospheric Atmospheric X-ray Imaging Experiment (MAXIE); and (8) the Energetic Heavy Ion Composition Experiment (EHIC). NOAA-I (NOAA-13) lost communications shortly after launch amd no data was collected.

Alternate Names

  • 22739
  • Advanced TIROS-N (ATN)
  • NOAA-I
  • NOAA13
  • POES

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1993-08-09
Launch Vehicle: Atlas E
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 1421 kg
Nominal Power: 330 W

Funding Agencies

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


  • Space Physics
  • Engineering
  • Solar Physics
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. James R. GreavesProgram ManagerNASA
Mr. Charles E. ThienelProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Joel SusskindProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
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