The Nimbus Program
Launched in 1964, Nimbus satellites carried a variety of instruments. At its height, peak, the mission imaged more than 70% of Earth each day.
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Reel Time Data
The AVCS used 3 cameras, a tape recorder, and a vidicon tube to capture, store, and transmit pictures to ground receiving stations.
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Get the Picture?
NSIDC scanned more than 200,000 AVCS and IDCS images from archival film, rescuing old data from the ‘60s and ‘70s for new research.
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Piecing Together the Past
Mosaics like this allowed NSIDC researchers to estimate the average 7-day Antarctic sea ice extent in September 1964.
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Tape reel
Satellite photo


NSIDC archives and distributes Level 1 and Level 3 data from the Nimbus Data Rescue Project. These data sets consist of digitized black-and-white film images and infrared radiometer data obtained during the 1960s and 70s by the Nimbus 1, Nimbus 2, Nimbus 3, and Nimbus 4 satellites.