Friday, 17 April 2015

1960, Science and Technology: TIROS I

TIROS I (“Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite”) is launched on April 1, 1960 at Cape Canaveral, Florida by the NASA. For the first time it became possible to observe weather conditions on a regular basis.

The satellite received cloud pictures via television cameras that took snapshots of the scene below, a snapshot was taken every ten seconds. TIROS I was equipped with two cameras, one with a wide angle lense providing views approximately 1207 km on a side, and a narrow angle camera with a view that was about 129 km on a side.

Two CDA (“Command and Data Acquisition”) stations were used, the Army Signal Corps laboratory in Belmar, New Jersey and the U.S. Air Force facility a Kaena Point, Hawaii. A third, back-up station, was located at Hightstown, New Jersey.
Tiros I assembly
The data from the satellite was recorded on 35-mm film for making prints and large projections. Afterwards this was transmitted to the U.S. Weather Bureau National Meteorological Center (NMC) near Washington, D.C. By 1962 (TIROS IV, TIROS V) some satellite pictures were sent to other large Weather Bureau offices. In June 1960 TIROS I ceased operating due to an electrical failure. TIROS II was launched on November 23, 1960.
Tiros I section

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