87th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 11:15 AM
40 Years of Observations from Geostationary Orbit
208 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
W. Paul Menzel, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
On 06 December 1966, NASA launched the Applications Technology Satellite-I (ATS-I) at Cape Canaveral, carrying as its payload, the Spin-Scan Cloud Camera. The camera, one of Verner Suomi's “gadgets”, started a revolution in satellite meteorology felt around the globe. Not only did the ATS-I transmit the first full-disk Earth images from geosynchronous orbit, but the technology pioneered continuous viewing of weather from space. The ability to obtain continuous satellite imagery of fixed points on the Earth, allowed scientists to study changing meteorological conditions for the first time. This talk reviews some of the early history of satellite remote sensing that led to the first geostationary observations, presents their importance to the global observing system, and summarizes some of the current applications.

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