BackForwardInstrument:  VCS-WA 

Instrument details
Acronym VCS-WA
Full name Vidicon Camera System - Wide Angle
Purpose Cloud imagery
Short description Television camera, single VIS channel, 104° field of view
Background New development
Scanning Technique Depending on satellite stabilisation mode. For TIROS-9 and ESSA-1 (cartwheel stabilisation) snapping when camera points at the Earth's surface. For all other fixed pointing spin-stabilised satellite, when viewing the Earth at appropriate times. Frame: 1200x1200 km2 when pointing normal to the Earth surface
Resolution 3 km at image center when pointing normal to the Earth surface
Coverage / Cycle For cartwheel satellites: nearly global in 2 days. For all others: discontinue, in average in 5 days for latitudes < 60°
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1960 to 1968
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)
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s)