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  • Imagery and Radiance Temperatures from the Visible and Infrared Spin-Scan Radiometer (VISSR) on SMS/GOES at NSSDC

    The Synchronous Meteorological Satellites (SMS 1 and 2) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Systems (GOES 1, 2, and 3) have provided continuous cloud-cover observations over the United States since the early 1970's. Originally designed to support the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP), the satellites were positioned at 75W and 135W over the equator in a normal two-satellite coverage, and at 107W in a one-satellite coverage. During the First GARP Global Experiment (FGGE) in 1978-1979, GOES 1 was moved to 55E to provide coverage over the Indian Ocean. On board the SMS/GOES spacecraft is a visible and infrared spin-scan radiometer (VISSR) that measured radiance temperatures at visible (0.55 to 0.70 micrometer) and IR (10.5 to 12.6 micrometers) wavelengths with spatial resolutions of 0.9 and 8 km, respectively. Data are processed for some periods of special interest and are available in four different formats. The Experimenter History Tapes (EHT) contain, in image sections, radiances, time, location, orbit, attitude, and telemetry information. Two other sets of digital imagery were produced at Goddard Space Flight Center: the Image Display And Manipulation System (IDAMS) format tapes and the Atmospheric and Oceanographic Image Processing System (AOIPS) format tapes. Each IDAMS tape contains up to 4000 image records in brightness temperatures, and each has orbital/telemetry information also. The tapes were used to generate 70-mm film products, but were subsequently replaced by the AOIPS format data. Each AOIPS tape contains up to 4 data files: a visible image data file, an IR image data file, an IR grid data file, and a calibration data file. From the digital tapes, Visible and infrared images were produced on 70-mm film. Each picture contains a title on the top boundary and a 33-level gray scale on the right boundary that represents brightness temperatures. It may have a combination of the following options: a) contrast enhancement, b) image sectorization, and c) 1/16-size imagery. The maximum effective size covers 500 sq km, represented by 4000 by 3904 pixels. Each element has a maximum resolution of 3.7 km. The title contains the satellite identification, picture number, picture type, coordinate numbers of the top left pixel relative to the visible sensor, start time of sectorized image, and pixel scaling and sector size identification. Sectorized images may be requested by date, time, and geographic area. Additional GOES imagery data held elsewhere will be identified herein shortly.

    Links: Temporal Extent: Spatial Extent:
    Minimum Bounding Rectangle: -60 160 60 -20

    SCIOPS Short Name: SMS_VISSR Version ID: Not provided Unique ID: C1214584448-SCIOPS