BackForwardInstrument:  IDCS 

Instrument details
Acronym IDCS
Full name Image Dissector Camera System
Purpose Cloud imagery
Short description Single-channel camera operating in the VIS range (0.45-0.65 µm). All-time open camera, converting the incoming light into an electronic beam that is amplified by a photomultiplier and focused onto a small hole by a magnetic lens. The dynamic range is 100:1 enabling observation of objects of very different brightness in the same scene
Background Blending the characteristics of APT and AVCS flown on previous Nimbus satellites
Scanning Technique Combination of the satellite motion and applied magnetic fields cross- and along- the track direction. The image is framed in 800 lines x 800 pixels/line transmitted in real time at the rate of 240 lines/min. Swath 2600 km
Resolution 3.2 km at s.s.p.
Coverage / Cycle Global, once/day, in daylight
Mass 11.3 kg Power 18 W Data Rate Analogue: 3.2 kHz base band


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1969 to 1980
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)