IEEE Computer Volume 12 Number 3 -- NEW APPLICATIONS & RECENT RESEARCH
Original Publication Date: 1979-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Software Patent Institute
True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+3]
NEW APPLICATIONS & RECENT RESEARCH
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
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NEW APPLICATIONS & RECENT RESEARCH Seasat-A accomplished 80 percent of mission
Despite its short period of operation -- June 26 to Oct. 9, 1978 -- the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Seasat-A spacecraft orbited the earth 1503 times and produced almost 100 "sensor days" of data, according to Bruce C. Murray, JPL director.
The synthetic aperture radar completed over 300 data- gathering passes representing 60 hours of data -- actually more minutes of data than had originally been
planned for the year-long mission. The photographs accompanying this note were made by the SAR in a radar range with a resolution of 25 meters (80 feet).*
The satellite's scatterometer, which measured sea surface wind speeds, collected data for 99 days, as did the scanning multifrequency microwave radiometer, which measured sea surface temperatures and wind speed. The altimeter returned 70 days of data and the visual and infrared radiometer, 52 days.
JPL engineers, after reviewing the amount of data received, estimated that approximately 80 percent of the original proof-of-concept objectives could still be accomplished. To this end the algorithm development facility has been completing the algorithms that convert the raw instrument data to ocean measurements and validating them against actual surface measurements, quaintly termed "surface truth." The resulting information will be distributed to commercial and academic users, most of it this year.
One aspect of the Seasat experiment -- transmitting data to the Fleet Numerical Weather Central at Monterey, Calif., for use in real time weather prediction -- had just barely been set up when the spacecraft stopped transmitting on the night of Oct. 9. However, the Navy weather unit will probably use the available Seasat data to perform retroactive "what if" weather experiments.
A special board of review, after a threemonth study of the evidence, reported that the "loss of power was caused by a massive and progressive short in one of the slip ring assemblies that was used to connect the rotating solar arrays with the power subsystem. "
A follow-on mission, the National Oceanographic Satellite System, is in the planning/costing stage. A joint NOAA/DoD/NASA venture, this mission is planned for 1985 launch.
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(Image Omitted: Radar view of eastern California was taken by the SEASAT satellite on July 7,1978. Covering a region 200 by 62 miles (322 by 100 kilometers,, it was received in less than a minute during a nine~minute sequence starting below Mexico's Baja Peninsula and ending on the British...