BackForwardInstrument:  AVCS 

Instrument details
Acronym AVCS
Full name Advanced Vidicon Camera System
Purpose Cloud imagery
Short description Single-channel camera operating in the VIS range (0.45-0.65 µm)
Background First installed on Nimbus 1 and 2, then on the operational ESSA series and the first ITOS and NOAA satellites. Designed for diferred transmission after on-board storage
Scanning Technique Snapshot and then scanning of 800 lines x 800 pixels/line. Three parallel cameras on Nimbus, for a total swath of 3500 km. Single camera on ESSA, for a swath of 3000 km
Resolution Ranging from 0.9 km s.s.p. (Nimbus) to 3.7 km (ESSA) depending on the satellite orbital height and the number of parallel cameras
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage each day, in daylight
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on operational programme
Utilization Period: 1964 to 1972
Last update: 2017-03-26
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • Moderate resolution optical imager
WIGOS Subcomponents No WIGOS subcomponents have been defined.
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Cloud cover
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Cloud cover*5 - marginalDaylight only.. Dense cloud only.VIS channel(s)
Fire fractional cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.. Daylight only.VIS channels
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s)
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s)