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Slice of History: Seasat Sensors

3 Jul 2013, 16:55 UTC
Slice of History: Seasat Sensors
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

By Julie Cooper
Each month in “Slice of History” we feature a historical photo from the JPL Archives. See more historical photos and explore the JPL Archives at https://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov/.

Seasat Sensors — Photograph Number 271-365Acc
The Seasat project was a feasibility demonstration of the use of orbital remote sensing for global observation. It was launched on June 26, 1978 and carried five sensors:
– The Radar Altimeter (ALT) measured wave height at the subsatellite point and the altitude between the spacecraft and the ocean surface. The altitude measurement was precise to within ±10 cm (4 in.). The altitude measurement, when combined with accurate orbit determination information, produced an accurate image of the sea surface topography.
– The Seasat (Fan-Beam) Scatterometer System (SASS) measured sea surface wind speeds and directions at close intervals from which vector wind fields could be derived on a global basis.
– The Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMRR) measured wind speed, sea surface temperature to an accuracy of ±2°C, and atmospheric water vapor and liquid water content.
– The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) was an imaging radar that provided images of the ocean surface from which could be determined ocean wave patterns, water and land interaction data ...

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