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The Schwerdtfeger Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, holds an extensive collection of hardcopy images from the Applications Technology Satellite-I and -III (ATS-I and ATS-III). This database was created, initially, to provide web access to the ATS-III color images, though it will later include ATS-III black and white images. The ATS-III was the only geostationary satellite with a blue channel which was, and still is, a unique feature.

In the mid-1960s, Dr. Verner E. Suomi and his colleague, Robert J. Parent, invented the Spin-Scan Cloud Camera. This instrument was the payload of the ATS-I and ATS-III launched in 1966 and 1967, respectively. Launch of the ATS-I into geosynchronous Earth orbit pioneered continuous viewing of weather from space. The ability to obtain continuous satellite imagery of a fixed point on the earth, at 20-minute intervals, allowed scientists to study a synoptic picture of existing meteorological conditions for the first time.

Having this period in our weather history (1966-1972) accessible increases the time base available for climate study and modeling.