ATS: Applications Technology Satellite – 1 (ATS-1)

1966

ATS 1 (Applications Technology Satellite) was designed and launched for the purpose of (1) testing new concepts in spacecraft design, propulsion, and stabilization, (2) collecting high-quality cloudcover pictures and relaying processed meteorological data via an earth-synchronous satellite, (3) providing in situ measurements of the aerospace environment, and (4) testing improved communication systems. The spin-stabilized spacecraft was cylindrically shaped and measured 135 cm long and 142 cm in diameter. The primary structural members were a honeycombed equipment shelf and thrust tube. Support rods extended radially outward from the thrust tube. Solar panels were affixed to the support rods and formed the outer walls of the spacecraft. Equipment components and payload were mounted in the annular space between the thrust tube and solar panels. In addition to solar panels, the spacecraft was equipped with two rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries to provide electrical power. Eight 150-cm-long VHF experiment whip antennas were mounted around the aft end of the spacecraft, while eight telemetry and command antennas were placed on the forward end. Spacecraft guidance and orbital corrections were accomplished by 2.3-kg hydrogen peroxide and hydrazine thrusters, which were activated by ground command. The satellite was initially placed at 151.16 deg W longitude over the Pacific Ocean in a geosynchronous orbit. In general, most of the experiments were successful. Data coverage was nominal until about 1970, after which limited real-time data acquisition was carried out by NOAA until the May 1974 launch of SMS 1. Limited ATS 1 data acquisition was begun by NASA at about that time for ATS 1 – ATS 6 correlative studies. The spacecraft has served as a communications satellite for a number of state, federal, and public organizations.

The Spin Scan Cloud Cover Camera (SSCC) was one of fifteen experiments on board ATS-I to return data. Dr. Verner Suomi, SSEC, was the principal investigator of this experiment.

From National Space Science Data Center, NSSDC ID: 1966-110A

Investigators

Related Websites

Publications

  • The Applications Technology Satellite Meteorological Data Catalog: Volumes I-V. Geenbelt, MD, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Goddard Space Flight Center. Volume I: ATS system description; Volume II: ATS-III multicolor spin scan cloud camera; Volume III: ATS-I data; Volume IV: ATS-I and –III data; Volume V: Summary. QC879.59 A1 A45.

  • ATS data catalog. Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, 1969. Various paging. UW SSEC Publication No.69.09.A1.

  • ATS users' manual. Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, 1968. 22p. UW SSEC Publication No.68.06.A1.

  • Dedecker, Ralph. ATS analog to digital transcriber system: Operators' manual. Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, 1969. 11p. UW SSEC Publication No.69.05.D1.

  • Experiments in medical communications via the ATS-1 satellite (National Institute of Health contract NIH71-4717). Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, 1972. Various paging. UW SSEC Publication No.72.00.E1.

  • Hanson, Kirby J. and Suomi, Verner E. The inspace, absolute calibration of ATS-I cloud camera. In Studies in atmospheric energetics based on aerospace probings, Annual report-1967 (WBG-27). Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Meteorology, 1968, pp153-178. UW MET Publication No.68.05.S1.

  • Hanson, Kirby J. and Vonder Haar, Thomas H. Cloud motion and other parameters from ATS-1 digital data. In Weather in motion [alternate working title – Weather motions from space]. Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, [1968], 10p., figures. UW SSEC Publication 68.00.S1.

  • Hanson, Kirby J. and Vonder Haar, Thomas H. Cloud motion and other parameters from ATS-I digital data. In Studies in atmospheric energetics based on aerospace probings, Annual report-1967 (WBG-27). Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Meteorology, 1968, pp19-34. UW MET Publication No.68.05.S1.

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