BackForwardInstrument:  VCS-MA 

Instrument details
Acronym VCS-MA
Full name Vidicon Camera System - Medium Angle
Purpose Cloud imagery
Short description Television camera, single VIS channel, 76° field of view
Background New development
Scanning Technique Fixed pointing from a spin-stabilised satellite viewing the Earth at appropriate times. Frame: 720x720 km2 when pointing normal to the Earth surface
Resolution 2.5 km at image center when pointing normal to the Earth surface
Coverage / Cycle Discontinue, in average in one week for latitudes < 60°
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Demonstrated by simulations
Utilization Period: 1962 to 1963
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
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)