Encyclopedia Astronautica
Tiros N



tirosn.jpg
Tiros-N
Credit: NASA
American earth weather satellite. 6 launches, 1978.10.13 (Tiros N) to 2002.06.24 (NOAA 17). Tiros N was part of the ongoing US series of polar-orbiting weather satellites. These were preceded by the TIROS series and the ITOS (Improved TIROS) series.

These satellites made measurements of atmospheric temperature and humidity, surface temperature, cloud cover, water-ice-moisture boundaries, and space proton and electron fluxes. They could receive, process, and retransmit data from free-floating balloons, buoys, and remote automatic stations around the globe.

These satellites were managed by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NASA was responsible for developing and launching the spacecraft. The NOAA spacecraft used a letter designator (NOAA G) before launch, and received a numeric designator after reaching orbit. TIROS-N through NOAA-D were called the TIROS-N series. NOAA-E through NOAA-N were called the TIROS ATN series (Advanced TIROS N). NOAA-D was launched out of sequence and later became NOAA 12.

The spacecraft were 3-axis stabilized, nadir pointing with control to 0.1 deg using reaction wheels. The TIROS-N series incorporated significant design heritage from DMSP. A hydrazine propulsion system was used for orbit maintenance. A single solar panel generated over 1 kW (EOL). NiCd batteries provided power during eclipse. The structure was an elongated 5-sided box constructed of aluminum and titanium. S-Band communications were used with NOAA/NESDIS ground stations located in Redwood City, CA; Wallops, VA; and Fairbanks, AK.

Payloads included:

UL>

  • AVCS (Advanced Vidicon Camera System)
  • APT (Automatic Picture Transmission system)
  • FPR (Flat Plate Radiometer)
  • SPM (Solar Proton Monitor)
  • VTPR (Vertical Temperature Profile Radiometer)
  • VHRR (Very High Resolution Radiometer)
  • AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer)
  • ASS (Atmospheric Sounding System)
  • SEM (Space Environment Monitor)
  • TOVS (TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder)
  • TIP (TIROS Information Processor)
  • MIR (Manipulated Information Rate processor)
  • CSU (Cross-Strap Unit).

    Gross mass: 1,416 kg (3,121 lb).
    Height: 3.70 m (12.10 ft).
    First Launch: 1978.10.13.
    Last Launch: 2002.06.24.
    Number: 6 .

    More... - Chronology...


    Associated Countries
    See also
    • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
    • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

    Associated Launch Vehicles
    • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
    • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
    • Atlas E American intercontinental ballistic missile. Initial fully operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance system from Atlas F. Deployed as missiles from 1960 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used over twenty years as space launch vehicles. More...
    • Atlas F American intercontinental ballistic missile. Final operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance systems. Deployed as missiles from 1961 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used for over thirty years as space launch vehicles. More...
    • Titan 2 American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM, developed also as the launch vehicle for the manned Gemini spacecraft in the early 1960's. When the ICBM's were retired in the 1980's they were refurbished and a new series of launches began. More...
    • Titan 2G American intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Space launch version, obtained through minimal refurbishment of decommissioned ICBM's. More...

    Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
    • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
    • NOAA American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA. More...
    • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...
    • RCA American manufacturer of spacecraft. RCA, USA. More...

    Associated Programs
    • Tiros TIROS spacecraft were the beginning of a long series of polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. TIROS was followed by the TOS (TIROS Operational System) series, and then the ITOS (Improved TIROS) series, and later the NOAA series. TIROS spacecraft were developed by GSFC and managed by ESSA (Environmental Science Services Administration). The objective was to establish a global weather satellite system. More...

    Bibliography
    • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
    • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
    • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.
    • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
    • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
    • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.
    • NASA Report, NOAA-M Fact Sheet, Web Address when accessed: here.
    • NASA Report, NOAA-M Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.
    • NASA Report, NOAA-M Booklet, Web Address when accessed: here.
    • NASA Report, NOAA-M Titan II Launch Vehicle Profie, Web Address when accessed: here.

    Associated Launch Sites
    • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
    • Vandenberg SLC3W Delta, Atlas launch complex. First designated LC1-1 and used to launch Atlas Agena B with Samos payloads. After Samos cancellation, rebuilt in 1963 to support launch of KH-4 Corona spysats atop Thor-Agena. Refurbished in 1973 to accomodate surplus Atlas ICBM's in space launch role. More...
    • Vandenberg SLC4W Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-3 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt in 1966 to handle Titan 3B with various military payloads. From 1988 used to launch refurbished surplus Titan 2 ICBM's in space launch role. More...

    Tiros N Chronology


    1978 October 13 - . 11:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 29F / Star-37S-ISS.
    • Tiros N - . Mass: 734 kg (1,618 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 11060 . COSPAR: 1978-096A. Apogee: 845 km (525 mi). Perigee: 829 km (515 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

    1979 June 27 - . 15:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 25F / Star-37S-ISS.
    • NOAA 6 - . Payload: NOAA A. Mass: 723 kg (1,593 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 11416 . COSPAR: 1979-057A. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

    1980 May 29 - . 10:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 19F / Star-37S-ISS. FAILURE: Atlas sustainer engine under-thrust resulted in 50 second extended burn time, and spacecraft attempted to separate and fired apogee kick motor while booster was still thrusting.. Failed Stage: P.
    • NOAA B - . Payload: NOAA B. Mass: 1,405 kg (3,097 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. Decay Date: 1981-05-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 11819 . COSPAR: 1980-043A. Apogee: 1,445 km (897 mi). Perigee: 264 km (164 mi). Inclination: 92.2000 deg. Period: 102.10 min. Unusable orbit; would have been NOAA 7. At engine start up, one of the booster engines suffered an internal fuel leak, causing it to run at about 80% thrust. As a result the booster was low on velocity and heavy on propellant over much of its flight and ran an incredible 50 seconds longer than the nominal burn. The NOAA Advanced TIROS payload was designed with no direct communication with the booster, and unaware of the booster problem, at 375 sec after liftoff attempted to separate with the booster still firing. The booster's continued thrusting defeated the payload's attempt to perform the required pitch maneuver. When the payload fired its apogee kick motor, it blew the top of the booster's liquid oxygen tank off. The spacecraft survived all this, but the resultant orbit was highly elliptical rather than the desired circular sun-synchronous. The mission was a total loss. Officially: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).>

    1981 June 23 - . 10:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 87F / Star-37S-ISS.
    • NOAA 7 - . Payload: NOAA C. Mass: 1,405 kg (3,097 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 12553 . COSPAR: 1981-059A. Apogee: 847 km (526 mi). Perigee: 828 km (514 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

    1991 May 14 - . 15:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 50E / Star-37S-ISS.
    • NOAA 12 - . Payload: NOAA D. Mass: 1,416 kg (3,121 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 21263 . COSPAR: 1991-032A. Apogee: 824 km (512 mi). Perigee: 805 km (500 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 101.20 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

    2002 June 24 - . 18:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-14 / M68B-72 + M68B-92 + M68B-71.
    • NOAA 17 - . Payload: NOAA-M. Mass: 1,475 kg (3,251 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 27453 . COSPAR: 2002-032A. Apogee: 820 km (500 mi). Perigee: 802 km (498 mi). Inclination: 98.4000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Launch delayed from August 2001. The refurbished Titan 2 missile put the NOAA M satellite on a suborbital trajectory of about -2500 x 820 km x 98 deg. at 1829 UTC. At 1837 UTC the NOAA M propulsion module fired its ATK/Thiokol Star 37XFP solid motor for the orbit insertion burn, followed by a hydrazine trim burn to put the satellite in an 807 x 822 km x 98.8 deg operational orbit. NOAA M became NOAA 17 on entering service with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the primary morning weather satellite, supplementing the NOAA 16 afternoon satellite. Built by Lockheed Martin, NOAA M carried weather imagers and microwave and infrared sounders, as well as a SARSAT search-and-rescue package. It had an on-orbit mass of 1475 kg.

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