BackForwardInstrument:  MSSCC 

Instrument details
Acronym MSSCC
Full name Multi-color Spin Scan Cloud Camera
Purpose Cloud observation
Short description 3 channels (Red, Blue, Green) for colour pictures
Background Evolution of SSCC flown on ATS-1. Red and Blue channels failed after 3 months of operations, then MSSCC reduced its performance to monochromatic
Scanning Technique E-W continuous scanning provided by the spinning satellite, N-S mechanical stepping
Resolution 3.5 km at s.s.p.
Coverage / Cycle Full disk each 26 min
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1968 to 1978
Last update: 2017-03-27
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
  • Wind (horizontal)
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)
Earth surface albedo3 - highCloud sensitive.VIS channel with changing solar incidence angles as daylight progresses
Fire fractional cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.. Daylight only.VIS channels
Fraction of Absorbed PAR (FAPAR)4 - fairCloud sensitive.VIS channels including Red at 700 nm
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)4 - fairCloud sensitive.VIS channels, range undersampled
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s). Frequent sampling (GEO) improves probability of cloud-free views
Wind (horizontal)*5 - marginalCloud or water vapour tracers needed.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s). Frequent sampling (GEO) enables inference from cloud motion