Accession Number : ADA307104

Title :   Inquiry into the Feasibility of Weather Reconnaissance from a Satellite Vehicle,

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s) : Greenfield, S. M. ; Kellogg, W. W.

PDF Url : ADA307104

Report Date : APR 1951

Pagination or Media Count : 55

Abstract : It is assumed that, in the event of armed conflict, aerial weather reconnaissance over enemy territory, similar to that obtained in World War II, will be extremely difficult if not impossible. An alternative method of obtaining this information, however, is thought to lie in the use of the proposed satellite vehicle. It is obvious that any meteorological reconnaissance utilizing only observations from such a high-altitude 'eye' cannot provide quantitative values for the parameters normally associated with standard weather observation and forecasting techniques. in determining the feasibility of such a system therefore, the questions that must be answered are: (1) What extent of coverage can be expected from a satellite viewing system? (2) In terms of resolution and contrast, what can be seen from the satellite? (3) Given proper coverage and resolution, what can actually be determined regarding the synoptic weather situation from this information? A current technical report on the satellite proposes several possible flight altitudes between 350 and 500 mi. For the purpose of the present study, however, only the 350-mi altitude was considered to any extent. At this altitude, a vehicle would have an orbital velocity of about 24,870 ft/sec and would make one complete circuit of its orbit in 1.6 hr. Assuming that any regressive motion of the satellite's orbit owing to the spatial motion and oblate shape of the earth is corrected for, and that the area it is desired to observe is in daylight during the vehicle passage for an extended period, this area will be covered and televised in a grid fashion once every 24 hr. It is visualized that, by means of mechanical scanning transverse to the path of the satellite, a continuous strip whose width is equal in order of magnitude to the altitude of the vehicle will be viewed.

Descriptors :   *METEOROLOGICAL DATA, *METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITES, CLOUDS, WIND, WEATHER FORECASTING, FEASIBILITY STUDIES, MILITARY APPLICATIONS, ALBEDO.

Subject Categories : Meteorology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE