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R E LEASE
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 400 MARYLAND AVENUE, SW, WASHINGTON 25, D.C WORTH 2-4155--WORTH 3-1110 TELEPHONES
Release No. 62-136
Sunday June 17, 1962
NASA TO LAUNCH FIFTH WEATHER SATELLITE Following four out of four successful Tiros satellite launchings, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
will soon attempt,
che fifth in
no earlier than June 19, 1962,
The launch will be from Cape Canaveral, Florida and is timed to provide maximum weather information during the hurricane season which normally reaches its peak in late August and September. Tiros III, launched July 12, 1961, demonstrated the importance of weather satellite data for immediate weather analysis when it discovered Hurricane Esther. Based on this information the hurricane was located two days in advance of the time possible with conventional procedures. This newest spacecraft will be placed in orbit by the This reliable three-stage Delta rocket developed by NASA. vehicle has been successful in the last eight consecutive launchings. Tropical storms will be a chief objective of the new Tiros. It is estimated that the satellite will view the northern hemisphere with its TV cameras for the first ten days, spend the next 38 days over the southern hemisphere and then head north again. This schedule will put the satellite over the northern hemisphere's hurricane and typhoon belts during the hurricane season. This newest Tiros will circle the earth about every 97 minutes at an altitude of approximately 350 nautical
The TV picture data from the previous Tiros, Tiros IV, launched into orbit February 8th, became so poor in quality over the June 9-10 weekend that routine meteorological operational use is no longer feasible. However, infrared data are still being obtained on a regular basis.
Although quite similar to the four 'oevi'.Gus Tiros satellites, which have taken more than 120,000 usa-fu1l cloud cover photographs, the new Tiros will be the first to be launched into an orbit inclined 58 degrees to thie equator. The others had a 48-degree inclination. At 58 degrees, the first pictures will include weather conditions as far north as the 65th parallel--on a line with Fairbanks, Alaska and similar points in Iceland, Greens and and Scandinavia. During its northern orbit, the satellice is expected to transmit excellent pictures of the pattern of the later phases of ice breakup in northern latitudes, as well as storms originating in the same area, Knowledge of the Ice breakup pattern should provide information on the menace of icebergs and fog to North Atlantic shippineg lanes. Analyses of data gathered from Tiros IV, launched February 8, 1962, as well as those from Tiros I and II, suggest that satellite television photography is a better means of ice study over extensive areas than coventional aircraft reconnaissance. When viewing southern latitudes, the satellite is expected to photograph the edges of the ice fields surrounding the Antarctic continent. The Tegea medium angle lens, proved successful on the Tiros IV, will be used again, as well as the wide angle Elgeet lens used on <ll previous Tiros spacecraft. The Tegea lens reduces distortion and gives a somewhat clearer picture while preserving relatively large area coverage. When this camera is pointed straight down, from an altitude of 350 miles, it will transmit pictures of a square area measuring about 450 miles on each side. The wide angle lens covers a square area measuring about 750 miles on each side. As in previous Tiros satellites, the spacecraft will carry two magnetic tape recorders, each of which can record as many as 32 successive pictures. When the Tiros is within the 1500-mile range of one of the two ground stations, Wallops Station, Va., or Point Mugu, Calif., the pictures can be transmitted earthward on command. The tape is then erased and rewound for the next recording. Also, the recorder can be bypassed and additional pictures directly transmitted. Other instrumentation will include remote control electronic clocks for triggering the cameras when out of range of the ground stations, beacon transmitters, horizon scanners, telemetry circuits and a magnetic orientation control system. In addition, infrared radiation experiments, essentially the same as those conducted in previous Tiros orbits, will be included. -2-
The purpose of these experiments is to learn how much solar energy is absorbed and reflected, and how much infrared radiation is emitted, by the earth and its atmosphere, and to further develop a means Or determining the nighttime cloud cover of the earth. Power for the operation of the electronic equipment is furnished by nickel-cadmium storage batteries which are charged by more than 9000 solar cells mounted on the top and sides of the spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, has responsibility for overall technical direction of the project including tracking, command, data acquisition, and the infrared radiation experiments. The Office of Meteorological Satellite Activities of the U. S. Weather Bureau is responsible for implementation and coordination of the operational use of the cloud picture data and for their research use. Other U. S. weather services participate in both operational and research use.
(-LTA TI[;33 ORDIT TRACE
FACT SHEET TIROS PROGRAM The Tiros program has been P very successful one for the U.S. and its National Aeronauoics and Space Administration in every aspect. This includes the successful four out of four launches from Cape Canaveral; as well as the important meteorological information transmitted back to earth from the Tiros satellites, and its use in weather analysis and atmospheric research. The accomplishments of these spacecraft have been significant in five important areas: 1. They have demonstrated the feasibility of a meteorological satellite as an engineering system. 2. They have taken important scientific measurements of the atmosphere. 3. Extensive use has been made of the satellite measurements in day-to-day weather analysis and forecasting operations. 4. An active international program of cooperation in meteorological satellite and related data has gotten underway. 5. A firm groundwork has been laid for the establishment of a Nationa' Operational Meteorological Satellite System.
The Tiros program was established with the launching into orbit from Cape Canaveral on April 1, 1960 of Tiros I, using a Thor-Able rocket. Between launch and June 17, 1960 when operations ceased, the satellite transmitted nearly 23,000 photographs of cloud cover. This historic spacecraft proved that equipment necessary for meteorological observations could be operated for long periods of time in space and could transmit data of considerable meteorological significance. Meteorologists hailed the Tiros I experiment as opening a new era in weather observation and immediately applied the data to an experimental program of operational use.
Tiros II was launched November 23, 1960 by the Delta launch vehicle. It far exceeded its estimated useful lifetime of three months and continued to provide data through November of 1961. Beyond this achievement, in January 1961, the satellite photographed the tightly packed ice in the St. Lawrence and in March took photographs for several days which showed the breakup of the ice pack. These and a few Tiros I ice pack photographs were the first and best indications that weather satellites could be used to photograph and show ice boundaries and open seas. Tiros II was also used in aiding forecasters on weather conditions for the suborbital flight of Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. last May and the launch of Ranger I in July. Recently, the Tiros II IR electronics and tape recorder was found to be still functioning after more than 18 months in orbit.
TIROS III -
Tiros III was launched July 12, 1961 and like the two previous Tiros launches it was a perfect operation. The satellite further substantiated the feasibility of operational weather satellites by again proving the data could be used on a real-time basis for daily weather analysis. It marked the first time a weather satellite was relied upon as the sole source of information for the basis of a tropical storm analysis. By July 20 Tiros III was providing operational data on Hurricane Anna and it subsequently photographed Hurricane Esther two days prior to detection by conventional methods, which resulted in additional warning time. Operation utilization of the satellite data was discontinued in late November, 1961 due to loss of adequate contrast in the pictures. - TIROS IV
Tiros IV, launched from Cape Canaveral on February 8, 1962, distinguished itself as a vehicle for ice study and ice reconnaisance. Project TIREC (Tiros Ice Reconnaissance),suppgrted jointly by NASA,'.the U. S. Weather Bureau,--U. S. Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Canadian Department of Transport, was a project devoted to ice study during a 10-day period in February and a second period in late March and April. U. S. and Canadian aircraft took ice photographs, as they flew the predicted path of Tiros, which were designed to note the concentrations of ice, its age, type, distribution, and variations in tone quality. An analysis of Project TIREC data indicates that satellite television photography is a better means of ice study over large areas than is conventional aircraft reconnaissance. -5-
Another scientific Experiment conducted with Tiros IV data was Project Bright C'.oud conducted by the Geophysics Research Directorate of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory. As a preliminary study leading to a possible eventual automated cloud identification system, Tiros photos were examined to determine cloud Identification by shape and brightness. - International Meteorological Workshop
An International Meterological Satellite Workshop, jointly sponsored by NASA and the U. S. Weather Bureau, was held in Washington, D. C. November 13-22, 1962. Representatives from over 30 nations participated in the workshop, the goals of which were: 1. To enable the weather services of other nations to acquire a working knowledge of meteorological satellite data for assistance in their future analysis programs both in research and in daily application and for guidance in their national observational support efforts. 2. That the world meteorological community may become more familiar with the Tiros program. 3. That the present activity may be put in proper perspective relative to future operational programs.
- General The satellite was designed to obtain television pictures of cloud formations and patterns and reflected solar and infrared radiation measurements of the atmosphere over much of the world. In addition it was designed to transmit the data from these experiments to ground stations for analysis and operational and research use. Weight: Shape Dimensions: 285 pounds Cylindrical, resembling a large hat bcex, 42 inches in diameter, 22 inches high. From Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Canaveral, Florida on a three stage Thor Delta vehicle.
Orbit: Approximately 350 miles altitude at an inclination of about 53 degrees from the Equator at speeds approaching 17,000 miles per hour. ;--Operation Power: 9,260 solar cells provide electrical energy to 63 nickel cadmium storage batteries. Five transmitters relay data from the satellite to ground stations. a. Each of the two television camera systems has a two-watt transmitter operating on 235 megacycles. One two-watt 237.8 megacycle transmitter relays infrared' experiments data. Two tracking beacons operating continuously on frequencies of 136.23 me and 136.92 me are used to relay satellite telemetry data such as temperature, pressure and battery charge level.
The TV cameras use a one-half inch Vidicon tube especially designed for satellite use. The cameras are aligned parallel to the satellite's spin axis and extend through the spacecraft base-plate. Each camera consists of a Vidicon tube and a focal plane shutter which permits still pictures to be temporarily stored on tube face plate. An electron beam converts this store4 picture into a TV type electronic signal which can be transmitted to ground stations or stored on a magnetic tape recorder. In each camera system there is a magnetic tape recorder and electronic clock or timer. Each recorder can store up to thirty-two pictures on the magnetic tape for later relay--this can be done by programming the timer as much as five hours in advance. When the satellite is within ground station range the photo-signals are "read out" and the tape is erased and rewound for the next recording.
When the satellite is within range of the ground station, the recorder can be bypassed so that pictures can be directly transmitted. Read outs are therefore referred to as being either direct or remote. The recording tape is 400 feet long and moves fifty inches per second during playback and recording. Photographs are transmitted from one camera at a time and complete read out from both cameras takes about three minutes. - Horizon Sensor
An infrared sensor mounted on the rim of the satellite can sense when its field of view crosses the earth's horizon. This Infonaation is relayed to the ground stations via the tracking beacon and assists in determining the satellite's attitude in space and re.lative to the earth. - North Indicator
Around the sides of the satellite are nine equally positioned solar cells which generate coded impulses which are used to measure the position of the satellite with respect to the sun. These data are transmitted with the TV transmission to the ground srations where they are processed by a sun-angle computer to -now which direction is North in each photograph.
Magnetic Attitude Control
A wire coil around the exterior lower side of the satellite generates a controllable magnetic field around the satellite. When this magnetic field interacts with that of the earth, the coil provides a means for very gradually tilting the satellite on command to obtain an advantageous angle for the sensors and the solar power supply.
When the payload is separated from the third stage it will be spinning at about 126 R.P.M. About ten minutes after separation a timer will release a despin mechanism to slow the rotational speed to about 12 R.P.M. This mechanism consists of two weights attached to cables wound around the satellite. As the weights unwind, they slow the rate of spin and when completely unwound, drop off automatically. -8-
i< Tiros raust1; maintain a spi.n rate of at least 8 1L.
to remain stable i. orbit.
When this minimum is approa(I-hi
a pair of small SC.Lid. fuel rockets is fired on radio comrnarin which increases the speed by approximately 3 R.P-.M. There
are five pairs of 1.-.ese spin-up rockets and each pair ca.r, be fired only once. The satellite has an internal arrangement of sl-din weights to cancel any wobbling motion.
Infrared Radiation Experiments
The satellIte will carry three radiation expe.-ruaait-: The purpose essentially the sam: as those in Tiros !VT. of these experiments is to learn how much solar energy is absorbed and refle-tedi, and how much infrared radiation 1s emitted, by the earth and its atmosphere and to further develop a means of determining the nighttime cloud cover of the earth. The scanning experiment includes mapping of reflect, solar radiation, total emitted infrared (or thermal) radiatitemperature of the earth's surface or of cloud tops, and temperature of an atmospheric level varying with the amount of water vapor but at an average altitude of about 25,000 feet. One non-scanning experiment wll provide gross heat budget information by measuring reflected solar radiatie.. and emitted long wave radiation from the earth and atmosphere over an area covering about the field of view of the medrarml angle TAt camera. The second non-scanning experiment, designed by the University of Wisconsin, will also measure the gross heat budget but the data, although of much lower resolution, will be more continuous since the sensors can view the earth essentially all the time. Data from the infrared experiments are recorded continuously on magnetic tape for playback on command from one of the ground stations. Storage capacity limits the data to that from the last orbit prior to read out. -Ground Stations There are two primary command and data acquisitlor stations. Both are operated with the support of a service contract with RCA. One station is located at NASA's Wallops Station, Wallops Island, Virginian The other is located at the Pacific Missile Range, Californta. A backup station is maintained at RCA's Space Center in Princeton, N. J.
At the ground stations, cloud cover pictures will be displayed in kinescopes and photographed by 35 mm cameras. In addition, both photo and infrared data will be recorded on magnetic tapes. Meteorological teams at both primary stations will analyze the pnotographic data and relay it to the National Meteorological Center, Suitland, Md.,forreal time operational use. The infrared tapes will be sent to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for processing and analysis. The time required for reduction and processing of these data prevents their real time use.
-Launch Vehicle *
The Delta vehicle used to launch this Tiros was developed for NASA by the Douglas Aircraft Co., and has the following characteristics: Height: Max. Diameter: Lift-off Weight: 90 feet 8 feet A little less than 112,000 pounds
First Stage (Modified Douglas Thor): Fuel: Thrust: Burning Time; Liquid (LOX and Kerosene) About 150,000 pounds 160 seconds
Second Stage (Aerojet General propulsion system): Fuel: Thrust: Burning Time: Liquid About 7,500 pounds 109 seconds
Third Stage (Allegany Ballistics Laboratory X-248 solid motor): Fuel: Thrust: Burning Time: Solid About 3,000 pounds 40 seconds (After 6 minute coast)
'iltrT Sequence: -The first stage falls away on burnout.. The second sta~r ignites immediately. The nose fairing which covers It1h lro stage and payload is jettisoned during second stage burning. The second and third stages coast for six minutes after second stage burnout. Then, the third stage is spin stabilized, and the second stage falls away, and the third stage is ignited. The third stage reaches an orbital velocity of almost 17,000 miles per hour. TIROS PROJECT PARTICIPANTS The overall responsibility for the project rests with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The development and operational phase of the project is under the direction of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Goddard will prepare the command programming which the ground stations will relay to the satellite. These programs will be based on information from NASA's Computing Center and recommendations of the Meteorological Satellite Activities, the U. S. Weather Bureau. The radiation experiments were designed and the data storage and telemetry equipment associated with them were constructed by Goddard. With the exception of the infrared experiments, the satellite was designed and constructed by the AstroElectronics Division of RCA, Princeton, New Jersey, under contract to NASA. In addition, RCA was responsible for the special ground station equipment. Barnes Engineering Company, Stamford, Connecticut, under NASA contract, provided radiation detectors. The University of Wisconsin designed one of the IR experiments. Douglas Aircraft Company is prime contractor for the Delta launch vehicle. In addition, it is responsible For launching services, supported by the Air Force Missile Test Center which operates the Atlantic Missile Range. The Office of Meteorological Satellite Activities, U. S. Weather Bureau is responsible for meteorological analysis and interpretation of the TV picture data. Cooperating in this phase of the project are the U. S. Navy Photographic Interpretation Center, the Geophysics Research Directorate of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, the Air Force Air Weather Service, the Navy Weather Service and university research groups.
Officials concerned with the TIROS experiment
Dr. Morris Tepper, Director of Meteorological Systems, NASA Headquarters. Dr. William K. Widger, Ch"'f of Operational Meteorological Systems, NASA Headquarters. Mr. William G. Stroud, Chief of the Aeronomy and Meteorology Division at Goddard Space Flight Center. Mr. Herbert I. Butler, Associate Chief for Projects, Aeronomy and Meteorology Division at Goddard Space Flight Center. Mr. Robert M. Rados, Tiros Project Manager, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Mr. Abraham Schnapf, Tiros Program Manager for RCA's Astro-Electronics Division. Dr. S. Fred Singer, Director of the U. S. Weather Bureau's Meteorological Satellite Activities. Mr. Dave Johnson, Deputy Director of the U. S. Weather Bureau's Meteorological Satellite Activities,.