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Nimbus 4

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Status: Completed
Mission Category: Historical Missions
Launch Date: April 8, 1970
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

Nimbus 4, the fourth in a series of second-generation meteorological research-and-development satellites, was designed to serve as a stabilized, earth-oriented platform for the testing of advanced meteorological sensor systems and for collecting meteorological data. The polar-orbiting spacecraft consisted of three major structures: (1) a ring-shaped sensor mount, (2) solar paddles, and (3) the control system housing. The solar paddles and the control system were connected to the sensor mount by a truss structure, giving the satellite the appearance of an ocean buoy.

Key Nimbus 4 Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Launch Vehicle: Thor-Agena
Instruments: BUV (Backscatter Ultraviolet Detector)
FWS (Filter Wedge Spectrometer)
IDCS (Image Dissector Camera System)
IRIS (Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer)
IRLS (Interrogation, Recording and Location System)
MUSE (Monitor of Ultraviolet Solar Energy), SCR (Selective Chopper Radiometer)
SIRS (Satellite Infrared Spectrometer)
THIR (Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer)
Project Scientist(s): Albert J. Fleig, Jr.

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Weather

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How is the global Earth system changing?

Science Goals:

  • The project objectives were to provide improved photographs of local cloud conditions by an automatic picture transmission (APT) system, and to evaluate an advanced vidicon camera system (AVCS) for daylight coverage and a high-resolution infrared radiometer system (HRIR) for night-time cloud-cover observation.

Related Applications:

  • Weather Prediction