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TIROS the First Weather Satellite

TIROS the First Weather Satellite

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Apr 29, 2011
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04/29/2011

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THE
FIRST
WEATHER
SA
TELLITE
J
G
po.'
i
o.
10
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS
AND
SPACE
ADMINISTRATION
;;
WASHINGTON,
D.C.
-20546
.-9-
For
sa
le
by
the
Su
per
i
nte
n
dent
of
Documen
ts
, U.S. Government
Pr
in
ting
OfficeWas
hin
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TIROSTheFirst
Weather
Satellite
TIROS
spacecraft are
meteorological
sate"
ites which
use
televisioncameras
for
observa
tion
of
the
earth's
cloud
cover.
These
satellitesare
also
designedto
carry
sensors
tomeasure
infra-red radiant
energy.
The term TIROSis
an
acronym
derived
from
Ielevision
infra-Red Qbservation
~atellite.
TIROS 1was
launched
onApril
1,
1960,beginning
a
new
era
in
weather
observation andcommunication.
Successive
launches
of
later
models
have
madepossible
observationof
weather
phenomena
on a
global
scale,
on
essentially
a
continuous
basis.
A
"weather
eye"
weighingnearly
300
pounds,
appro
x
imately
400
miles
out
in
space,
TIROS looks
like
abass drum
with
needle-like
antennas
sticking
out
of
its
sides.
It
contains
two
independent television camera
systems for
observing the
earth's
cloud
cover.
The
latest
TlROS
models
have
wide-angle
lenses,
each capable
ofphotographingan
area
ofapproximately
600,000
square
miles-roughly
equivalent
to
twice
the
size of
Te
xa
s.
Both
cameras
havespecially-developedhalf-inch
vidicon
tubeswhich
can
store
photo
,
graphs
temporarily.
An
electron
beamconverts these
"stored"
photographs
intoTV-type
sig
nals
which
are
sent
directly
to a
ground
station
or
arerecorded
on
a
tiny
taperecorder
for
read-out
when
thesatell ite
is
wi
thi n
1,500
mi
I es
of
a
ground
station.
At
the ground
stations,located
at
Wallops
Island.;
Va.,
on
San
Nicolas
Island,
Calif.,
andFairbanks,
Alaska,
the
pictures
on
flashed on
special
TV
screens
and photographed
by
35
mm
cameras.
These
photographsof
TV
pictures
are
used
by
the
U.S.
Weather
Bureau for
making
weatheranalyses.
The,
infra-red equipment,
which
is
used
toprovide information
on how
the sun's
energy
is absor.bed
and
reflected
by
the
earth's
atmosphere,
records
data
ontiny
tape
recorders
for
playback
on command
by a
ground
station.
TIROShas
been
directly
responsible
for
saving
I ives
and
property
by
giving
advance
warnings
of
storms,
especially
hurricanes,
typhoons
and large
tropicalstorms.Specialmis
sions
havebeen
accomplished,
for
example, ice
surveys in
the
Gulf
of
St. Lawrence.
Special
weather
advisories
have
contributed
to
thesuccess of
aviation
missions
and launches
of
spacevehicles.
I n
summary,
TI
ROS
has:
Demonstrated
that
the
meteorological
satellite
is
practical
as
an
engineering
system,
and opened
a
new
era
in
weather
observation.
• Proved
thatmeteorological data
obtained
from
satellites
could
beused
for
daily
weather
analysis.
Identified hurricane cloud
p
atterns,
l
ocated
them
with
respect
to
land
masses
and
foi
lowed the
irmovemen t .
Distinguished
itself
os avehi
cle
for
ice
study
and
ice reconnaissance.
Obtainedneeded
i
nformation
for
the
study
of
the
radiation
balance
of
the
earth's
atmosphere.
The TIROS mission
is
a
project of
NASA's
Goddard Space
Flight
Center
at
Greenbelt,
Md.
 
The
TIROS
Spacecraft.
\

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