Series of 7 satellites for concepts/instruments demonstration and scientific experiments, mostly intended to pave the way for operational meteorological satellite programmes, namely TOS/ESSA and NOAA polar orbiters.
USA programme: NASA responsible of development and operations.
The satellites are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
The design lifetime is 2 years.
Orbits are sunsynchronous, around 12:00.
Replacement policy not explicitly pursued, but satellites were launched at roughly 2-year intervals.
See detailed description at
Global data stored onboard and downlinked to the CDA (Command and Data Acquisition station) at Fairbanks and processed at NASA/GSFC.
Real-time image broadcasting performed by Nimbus-1 to Nimbus-4 through the Automatic Picture Transmission system; and for selected instruments by Nimbus-5 and Nimbus-6 through the beacon.
1964 - 1994
Associated satellites and instruments
Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational
, blue tag => planned