BackForwardInstrument:  ESMR (Nimbus-6) 

Instrument details
Acronym ESMR (Nimbus-6)
Full name Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer
Purpose Observation of sea-ice, snow and precipitation
Short description Single frequency, 37 GHz, dual polarisation. Planar antenna with axis oriented to 45° ahead of the satellite
Background Evolution of the ESMR flown on Nimbus-5, to experience dual polarisation and conical scanning
Scanning Technique Electronic, conical, swath 1270 km
Resolution 20 km (cross-track) x 45 km (along-track)
Coverage / Cycle Near-global, once/day
Mass 28 kg Power 40 W Data Rate 400 bps


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1975 to 1983-03-29
Last update: 2012-05-14
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive microwave radiometer
  • Conical scanning microwave radiometer
Mission objectives
Secondary mission objectives
  • Wind speed (near surface)
Opportunity objectives
  • Cloud liquid water (CLW)
  • Cloud liquid water (CLW) total column
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Cloud liquid water (CLW)3 - highNo specific limitation.MW channels around 37 GHz
Cloud liquid water (CLW) total column3 - highNo specific limitation.MW channels around 37 GHz
Wind speed (near surface)5 - marginalOver sea only.MW channels around 37 GHz