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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Cartoon
Tape reel
Satellite photo
Mosaic

Overview

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.

Data Sets

The following table lists the Nimbus Data Rescue Project data sets that are available from NSIDC.
Title Spatial Coverage Temporal Coverage Parameter(s)
Nimbus Advanced Vidicon Camera System Visible Imagery L1, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1966-05-15 to 1966-08-30
1964-08-28 to 1964-09-22

Visible Imagery

Nimbus Advanced Vidicon Camera System Remapped Visible Imagery Daily L3, GeoTIFF, Version 1 N: 60, S: -60, E: 180, W: -180 1964-08-31 to 1964-09-22
1966-05-15 to 1966-08-20
1966-08-22 to 1966-09-02

Visible Imagery

Nimbus Advanced Vidicon Camera System Remapped Visible Imagery Daily L3, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1966-08-22 to 1966-09-02
1966-05-15 to 1966-08-20
1964-08-31 to 1964-09-22

Visible Imagery

Nimbus High Resolution Infrared Radiometer Digital Swath Data L1, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1969-04-23 to 1969-11-30
1966-05-16 to 1966-11-15
1964-08-29 to 1964-09-22

Brightness Temperature

Nimbus High Resolution Infrared Radiometer Remapped Digital Data Daily L3, GeoTIFF, Version 1 N: 60, S: -60, E: 180, W: -180 1964-08-29 to 1964-09-21
1966-05-16 to 1966-11-14
1969-04-17 to 1969-11-30

Brightness Temperature

Nimbus High Resolution Infrared Radiometer Remapped Digital Data Daily L3, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1964-08-29 to 1964-09-21
1966-05-16 to 1966-11-14
1969-04-17 to 1969-11-30

Brightness Temperature

Nimbus Ice Edge Points from Nimbus Visible Imagery L2, CSV, Version 1 N: 90, S: 50, E: 180, W: -180
N: -50, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180
1964-08-28 to 1964-09-22
1966-05-15 to 1966-09-02
1969-04-24 to 1970-01-16

Ice Edges

Nimbus Image Dissector Camera System Visible Imagery L1, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1969-04-23 to 1970-01-21
1970-04-30 to 1971-04-08

Visible Imagery

Nimbus Image Dissector Camera System Remapped Visible Imagery Daily L3, GeoTIFF, Version 1 N: 60, S: -60, E: 180, W: -180 1969-04-23 to 1971-04-04

Visible Imagery

Nimbus Image Dissector Camera System Remapped Visible Imagery Daily L3, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1969-04-23 to 1971-04-04

Visible Imagery

Nimbus Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer 11.5 µm Swath L1, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1970-04-13 to 1971-04-01

Brightness Temperature

Infrared Imagery

Nimbus Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer 11.5 µm Remapped Digital Data Daily L3, GeoTIFF, Version 1 N: 60, S: -60, E: 180, W: -180 1970-04-13 to 1971-04-01

Brightness Temperature

Infrared Imagery

Nimbus Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer 11.5 µm Remapped Digital Data Daily L3, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1970-04-13 to 1971-04-01

Brightness Temperature

Infrared Imagery

Nimbus Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer 6.7 µm Water Vapor Swath L1, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1970-05-10 to 1971-03-25

Infrared Imagery

Water Vapor

Nimbus Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer 6.7 µm Water Vapor Remapped Digital Data Daily L3, GeoTIFF, Version 1 N: 60, S: -60, E: 180, W: -180 1970-05-10 to 1971-03-25

Infrared Imagery

Water Vapor

Nimbus Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer 6.7 µm Water Vapor Remapped Digital Data Daily L3, HDF5, Version 1 N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180 1970-05-10 to 1971-03-25

Infrared Imagery

Water Vapor