Publish Date: 
May 22, 2016

SMS

SMS

The Synchronous Meterological Satellite Program (SMS)

The success of the meteorological experiments carried aboard the ATS-1 and -3 satellites led to NASA's development of a satellite specifically designed to make atmospheric observations. SMS-1 and SMS-2, operational prototypes, were launched in 1974 and 1975. SMS-1 and -2, and GOES-1, -2, and -3 were essentially identical. They carried instrumentation for visible and international remote imaging, collection of data from automated remote platforms, relay of weather products (WEFAX), and measurement of a number of characteristics of the near space environment.

Sychronous Meterological Satellite - 1 (SMS-1)

The SMS satellite was the first operational spacecraft to sense meteorological conditions from a fixed location. SMS-1 was a cylinder 75 inches in diameter, 103 inches high and weighed 630 pounds. The sides of the cylinder were covered by 15,000 solar cells which, along with nicad batteries, provided the power for the craft. A single triangular magnetometer unit was located on the top of the craft which extended 33". The spacecraft was spin-stabilized and rotated at 100 revolutions per minute.
   
The principle instrument on board was the Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR) which provided day and night imagery of cloud conditions. The satellite had the capability to monitor cataclysmic weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons continuously, relay data from over 10,000 surface locations into a central processing center for incorporation into weather prediction models, and to perform facsimile transmission of processed images and weather maps to WEFAX field stations. In addition, a Space Environment Monitor (SEM) and Data Collection System (DCS) similar to those on the NOAA polar orbiters were installed. SMS-1 was placed in a geostationary orbit directly over the equator at 45W (over the central Atlantic). This location provided continuous coverage of the Central and Eastern US and the Atlantic Ocean.

Participants: NASA, Hughes, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aerospace Corporation, Bell Telephone

SMS-1 Stats:

  • Launch Date:    May 17, 1974
  • Operational Period:    Deactivated by NASA on January 21, 1981
  • Launch Vehicle:    Delta
  • Launch Site:    Cape Canaveral, FL
  • Type:    Weather Satellite

 

Sychronous Meterological Satellite - 2 (SMS-2)

The SMS-2 satellite sensed meteorological conditions from a fixed location above the Earth; provide this data to operational forecasters and private interests on the ground. The satellite was designed to compliment SMS-1 and cover the Western U.S. and Pacific basin.

The spacecraft was a cylinder 75 inches in diameter, 103 inches high and weighed 630 pounds. The sides of the cylinder were covered by 15,000 solar cells which, along with nicad batteries, provided the power for the craft. A single triangular magnetometer unit was located on the top of the craft which extended 33". The spacecraft was spin stabilized and rotated at 100 revolutions per minute.    

The principle instrument on board was the Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR) which provided day and night imagery of cloud conditions over the full-disk. The satellite had the capability to monitor cataclysmic weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons continuously, relay data from over 10,000 surface locations into a central processing center for incorporation into weather prediction models, and to perform facsimile transmission of processed images and weather maps to WEFAX field stations. In addition, a Space Environment Monitor (SEM) and Data Collection System (DCS) similar to those on the NOAA polar orbiters were installed. SMS-2 was placed in a geostationary orbit directly over the equator at 135W (over the east-central Pacific).

Participants: NASA, Hughes, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aerospace Corporation, Bell Telephone

SMS-2 Stats:

  • Launch Date:    February 6, 1975
  • Operational Period:    Deactivated by NASA on August 5, 1982
  • Launch Vehicle:    Delta
  • Launch Site:    Cape Canaveral, FL
  • Type:    Weather Satellite

 

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Phase: 
Past
Full Name: 
Synchronous Meterological Satellite Program
Launch Date: 
May 17, 1974