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THE TIROS VI METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITE SYSTEM
POST-LAUNCH EVALUATION REPORT
(NASA-CR-139067) THE TIROS 6 METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITE SYSTEM Post launch evaluation report (Radio Corp. of Anerica) 133 p
Prepared for the GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON, D.C.
N74-76281 Unclas 50558
ASTRO-ELECTRONICS DIVISION DEFENSE ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS
RADIO C O R P O R A T I O N OF A M E R I C A PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
Issued: December 15, 1964
CONTRACT NO. NAS5-1335
THE TIROS VI METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITE SYSTEM
POST-LAUNCH EVALUATION REPORT
Prepared for the
GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON, D.C.
ASTRO-ELECTRONICS DIVISION DEFENSE ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS
R A D I O C O R P O R A T I O N OF A M E R I C A PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
Issued: December 15, 1964
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This report contains the results of the Post-Launch Evaluation Program for the TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite System. The program was conducted by the Astro-Electronics Division (AED) of the Radio Corporation of America for the Goddard Space Flight Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, under Contract No. NAS 5-1335. The report contains an evaluation summary of overall system operation and separate detailed evaluations of the performance of the subsystems and of the ground support activities. Accounts are given of investigations, analyses, and tests conducted in connection with such areas, and recommendations for improvements that are desirable are included. Brief functional descriptions of the subsystems are given in this report. More detailed descriptions of the equipment and of the design and technical development of the TIROS system are contained in or referred to in the TIROS VI final engineering report. Other documents which may be useful to the reader of this report are referred to in the text and listed in a bibliography on the final page.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE I. П. Ш. IV. INTRODUCTION SYSTEM DESIGN EVALUATION SUMMARY TV PICTURE SUBSYSTEM
Hi Ы H l Ш 1 IV 1
Function Performance Evaluation 1. General a. Camera System No. 1 b. Camera System No. 2 Satellite Components a. b. c. 3. TV Cameras (1) Camera No. 1 (2) Camera No. 2 Tape Recorders TV Transmitters
IV 1 IV 3 IV 3 IV 3 IV 3 IV 6 IV IV IV IV IV 6 6 14 18 18
Ground Station Components
INSTRUMENTATION CONTROL SUBSYSTEM
Function Performance Evaluation 1. 2. 3. General Shutter Problem Emergency Telemetry Problem
V l V 2 V 2 V 2 V 6
TELEMETRY AND TRACKING SUBSYSTEM
Function Performance Evaluation
VI 1 VI 4
TABLE OF CONTENTS '(Continued)
Page REFERENCE INDICATO R SUBSYSTEMS
vn i vn i vn i
,. . . VII 1 УП 2
Attitude Indicator Subsystem
VII 4 УП 4 SATELLITE DYNAMICS CONTROL
De Spin Mechanism
vin vin ,, . . vrn . . . vni
i i i i
, . . Vin 2
Spin Up Rockets
. . . VIII 3
, . . УШ З , . . УШ З
, . . VIH 7 . . . Vni 7 , . . УШ ?
Attitude Prediction, Measurement and Control . . ,, . . Vin 8
. . . vrn 8 , . . vin io
.. K l , .. , .. , .. K l K l K 2 K 2
Ground Station Antennas
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Section X. ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY SUBSYSTEM A. B. Function Performance Evaluation 1. 2. 3. XI. A. B. ХП. A. General Solar Cell Array Storage Battery Page X l X l X 2 X 2 X 2 X 3 XI 1 XI 1 XI 1 ХП 1 XII 1 ХП 1 ХП 2 ХП 2 ХП 2 ХП 3 XII ХП ХП ХП ХП 3 4 6 6 6
SATELLITE THERMAL RESPONSE Function Performance Evaluation Launch Support 1. 2. B. 1. 2. Launch Operations Orbital Data Introduction Operational Evaluation a. b. c. d. e. C. General Wallops Island Station Pacific Missile Range Station Alaska Station Princeton Back Up Station
Command and Data Acquisition Stations
TIROS Technical Control Center 1. 2. Introduction Operational Evaluation
ХП 9 ХП 9 ХП 10
APPENDIX A EXTENDED OPERATIONA L EVALUATION BIBLIOGRAPHY A l A 5
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Figure 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 Early Orbit Pictures, Both Cameras Hurricane Daisy; Camera 2, Remote; Orbit 236, Oct. 4, 1962 Typhoon Karen; Camera 1, Remote; Orbit 827, Nov. 14, 1962 Cellular Formation West of Australia; Camera 2, Remote; Orbit 726, Nov. 6, 1962. Pictures Taken During First Four Months of 1963 Mosaic of Alaska and Western Canada Showing Moon's Shadow During Solar Eclipse of August 20, 1963. Mosaic Comprises 11 TIROS VI Pictures Taken During Remote Sequence of Camera 1 On Orbit 4456 Path of Hurricane Arlene as its Intensity Decreased from Hurricane to Tropical Storm (August 7) and Increased Again to Hurricane (August 8, 9, and 10) Hurricane Arlene on August 3, 1963, Orbit 4658, Camera 1, Remote Typhoon Gloria, Orbit 5191, Camera 1, Remote Tropical Storm Debra (left) and Hurricane Edith. Picture of Debra from Orbit, 5045, Camera 1, Remote; Edith from Orbit 5463, Camera 1, Remote Geophysical Conditions and Surface Detail Recorded by TIROS VI The TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite TIROS VI Baseplate, Top View Showing Component Locations and IR Dummy Weights Camera System No. 1 Pictures, Taken Before (top) and After Defocusing on Orbit 5664 . Page 1 4
16 1 7
1 10 1 10 1 11
1 8 19 1 10
1 11 1 13 П 2 П4 IV 9
11 1 П 1 П 2 IV 1
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS (Continued)
Figure IV-2 IV-3 IV-4 IV-5 IV-6 Results of Vidicon Tests, Showing Effects of Decreasing Focus Current (Electromagnetic Defocusing) Results of Vidicon Tests, Showing Effects of Increasing G3 Voltage (Electrostatic Defocusing) Results of Vidicon Tests, Showing Effects of Decreasing and Increasing Vidicon Electrode Voltages Orbit 766, Camera 2, Direct. Final Direct Frame Received from Camera No. 2 Camera System No. 2 Pictures from Orbit 1071, Showing Rapid Loss of Focus Leading to Loss of Useful Pictures Evidence of End-of-tape Sensor Interfering with Recording of First Picture in Remote Sequences Probable Radar Interference Observed on Orbit 4726 (Camera 1, Remote, Frame 25) Typical TIROS VI Remote Pictures Indicative of Normal Tape Recorder Performance Shutter-Control Circuit, Block Diagram Shutter-Pulse Logic Circuit Before and After Modification Typical TIROS VI Telemetry Readout Representative Attitude-Indicator (H-l) Data from the TIROS VI North-Indicator Sun Sensor, Showing how an Incompletely Scribed Sensor could Result in a 10Degree Error in Indicated Sun Direction Picture-Center Points on Orbit 5286. Satellite Spin-Up Took Place Just Before Frame 12 Normal Point Right Ascension versus Days After Launch Decimation versus Days After Launch . Page IV-10 IV-11 IV-13 IV-15
IV-17 IV-19 IV-19 IV-20 V-l V-5 VI-5 Vn-5
IV-7 IV-8 IV-9 V-l V-2 VI-1 Vn-1 Vn-2
Vn-6 Vin-6 Vin-11 VDI-15
Vin-l VHI-2 Vm-3
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS (Continued)
Figure X-l X-2 X-3 XI-1 XI-2 XI-3 XI-4 XI-5 XI-6 XI-7 A-l A-2 Calculated Energy Available and Actual Energy Used, versus Days After Launch Satellite Battery Voltage versus Days After Launch Ratio of Telemetered Solar Cell Patch Voltage to Calculated Patch Voltage versus Days After Launch .... Temperature of Solar-Cell Array versus Days After Launch Top and Side Temperatures of Structure versus Days After Launch Temperature of Baseplate versus Days After Launch .... Battery Temperature versus Days After Launch Temperature of Clock No. 2 versus Days After Launch Gamma Angle and Percent Suntime versus Days After Launch Plot of Predicted Top-Surface Temperatures versus Gamma Angle Orbit 6886, Camera 1, Remote Orbit 9335, Camera 1, Direct Page X-3 X-3 X-7 XI-3 XI-3 XI-5 XI-5 XI-7 XI-7 XI-12 A-4 A-4
LIST OF TABLES
Table IV-1 IV-2 VI-1 VI-2 VIII-1 Vin-2 XI-1 XI-2 A-l Picture Measurements, Camera System No. 1 Picture Measurements, Camera System No. 2 Telemetered Parameters of the TIROS VI Satellite TIROS VI Telemetry Calibration Voltages TIROS VI Spin-Up Data Changes Made in TIROS VI Attitude-Prediction Program During Operating Life of the Satellite Locations and Characteristics of TIROS VI Temperature Sensors TIROS Predicted and Telemetered Top Temperatures for Maximum and Minimum Sun Times Summary of TIROS VI Performance During PostOperational Evaluation Period Page IV-4 IV-7 VI-3 VI-4 VIH-3 VIII-17 XI-9 XI-11 A-3
The TIROS VI satellite was successfully launched from Cape Kennedy (at that time Cape Canaveral), Florida on September 18, 1962 at 8:53:09 GMT (3:53:09 A.M. EST), and injected into a nearly circular orbit having an inclination of 58.319 degrees, an apogee of 442.18 statute miles, and a perigee of 425.13 statute miles. The anomalistic period of the orbit was 98. 73 minutes, and its eccentricity was 0. 0019. This was the sixth consecutive launching and orbiting of a TIROS satellite in as many attempts. The primary mission of the TIROS VI satellite was to provide increased photographic coverage of the tropical latitudes, especially of the Caribbean area, during the 1962 autumnal hurricane season. The satellite, operating in conjunction with the previously launched TIROS V satellite, provided early detection and observation of many of the major hurricanes and typhoons that appeared during that period. Some of these storms were first detected before they had reached hurricane force, and their paths and developments into severe storms were followed continuously in pictures returned from many orbits. The operational life of TIROS VT exceeded that of any previous TIROS satellite, continuing until October 11, 1963 and providing operational data for nearly 13 months in space. TIROS VI was thus able to observe the autumnal hurricanes and tropical storms of 1963 as well as those of 1962. The TIROS VI satellite carried two one-half-inch vidicon television cameras, one equipped with a wide-angle lens and the other with a medium-angle lens. Each camera was part of an independent camera system which could be operated by ground command either to take pictures while in contact with a TIROS ground station or to take and record pictures over areas outside the communications range of the ground stations, for subsequent transmission to one of the ground stations. In addition to the television systems, the satellite carried instrumentation and electronics for telemetry and beacon transmissions, for dynamics control, and for attitude determination. The dynamics control subsystems maintained the desired satellite attitude and kept the satellite's spin rate within the desired range of 8-to-12 rpm. Electrical power was supplied by a solar-energy conversion array and storage batteries. In addition to the primary mission of hurricane watching, the satellite provided routine observation of the locations and movements of the world's weather systems during 389 days of producing meteorologically useful pictures. In this
period, TIROS VI transmitted a total of 66, 674 pictures to the ground stations, of which 58,667 were useful for meteorological purposes, thus exceeding the performance of all previous TIROS satellites both in total picture production and in the total number of useful pictures produced. From the useful picture sequences, 2122 nephanalyses were prepared by the U. S. Weather Bureau, and 276 storm advisories and bulletins were issued. The satellite was also used to provide direct weather observations for other NASA programs and for scientific projects in which NASA was participating. Most notable among these was the direct support given to the Project Mercury Manned Space Flight Program for the MA-8 flight, in October 1962, and the MA-9 flight, in May 1963. After October 15, 1964, although the satellite no longer produced meteorologically useful pictures, it was programmed once every two days to obtain data concerning the longevity of the various components in the space environment,, This extended evaluation continued successfully until June 24, 1964, when, after 655 days (9412 orbits) of operation in the space environment, the satellite no longer responded to command. An account of the extended evaluation period is given in Appendix A of this report. * TIROS VI was the first TIROS satellite to be equipped with one-year timing devices for silencing the beacon transmitters after 12 months of orbital operation. On September 14, 1963, just four days before the satellite had been in space for one year, the beacon transmitters turned off as scheduled. The command and control subsystem and TV picture subsystem No. 1 continued to operate normally. Because this event had been anticipated and adequate planning had been made beforehand, it was possible to continue regular satellite interrogations, using ephemeris data to locate and track the satellite. Regular programming and interrogation of the satellite continued for nearly one month following beacon turnoff. Many useful pictures were obtained during that period before defocusing of the vidicon in camera No. 1 took place on October 11, 1963.
* * * * *
Shortly after the launching on September 18, 1962, satellite separation from the third-stage rocket occurred normally and the de-spin mechanism reduced the initial injection spin-rate successfully. Since the actual passage of the satellite was in close correlation with the predicted orbit, the Pacific Missile Range Command and Data Acquisition Station, located at San Nicolas Island, California, *On December 23, 1964, while this report was in the reproduction cycle, TIROS VI responded to interrogation, providing 63 video frames to the Wallops Island CDA station. An account of this interrogation is given in Appendix A. Future successful interrogations of TIROS VI will be reported separately, as they occur.
experienced no difficulty in acquiring '.lie satellite on the first orbit and in verifying separation and spin down. Both the Wallops Island and the PMIl Command and Data Acquisition Stations successfully interrogated the satellite on the first three orbits, and received remote pictures of excellent quality. The taking of useful direct pictures was not possible during the first three orbits because of the low solar illumination angle and the high nadir angles occurring while the satellite was within range of the ground stations; direct pictures were, however, programmed, to demonstrate that the subsystems were performing normally. During the remainder of September 1962, 18,373 direct and remote pictures were taken. On September 19, the second day of TIROS VI operation, the satellite transmitted a total of 604 pictures, of which 5-1 were considered useful for meteorological purposes. From these, twenty-one nephanalyses were prepared, representing a record for one day's interrogation of a meteorological satellite. The pictures received showed the presence of a cloud vortex off the Irish coast and showed additional vortices in the Norlh and South Atlantic, over the desert region of the Sudan, and off the Pacific Coast of North America. Many land masses were identified, including the coasts of Siberia, Pakistan and California, the southern tip of India, coastlines along the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and portions of Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela and Chile. Special storm advisories were sent to Brazil, giving the location of a storm in the South Atlantic, and to Air Force detachments in the Pacific, giving the Locations of several cloud vortices in that area. The quality of these early-orbit photographs from both cameras is indicated in Figure 1-1. Engineering checkout of all satellite systems was performed using the AED backup ground station during the first week of operation. The timing accuracies of both programmer clocks aboard the spacecraft were verified during 11 orbits occurring between September 21 and September 23. On September 26, the magnetic-attitude-control switch was commanded to step through all 12 positions; the switch circuits responded normally, permitting the ground stations to obtain calibration data for future attitude-control programming. During this period, the satellite continued to transmit piciures of excellent quality, a high percentage of which were meteorologically useful. Routine nephanalyses were prepared on a daily basis and special storm bulletins and weather advisories were sent to Brazil, Florida, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Hawaii, and to Air Force detachments in the Pacific. During late September and early October, TIROS VI and TIROS V provided operational support for the Project Mercury MA-8 spaceflight. The two satellites transmitted more than 5000 pictures .n support of the MA-8 launch and recovery operations.
о. Red Seo and Nile River; Camera I, Remote Orbit 777, Sept. 26, 7962
b. Saudi Arabia and Arabian Sea; Camera 7, Remote; Orbit 745, Sept. 28. 1962
Vortex South of Australia; Camera 2, Remote; Orbit 274, Oct. 7, 7962
Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman; Camera 2, Remote; Orbit 073, Sept. 23, 7962
Figure 7 7 Early Orbit Pictures, Both Cameras
On October 1, 1962, Tropical Storm Daisy was observed in the Atlantic Ocean east of Cuba and its position and description were reported to the weather centers at San Juan, Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida. TIROS VI continued to monitor the progress of Daisy through the next several days as it approached the coast of the United States from the southeast, obtaining pictures of its configuration as its winds increased from tropical storm to hurricane intensity. A picture taken of Daisy during this period is shown in Figure 1-2. Observations of typhoons, tropical storms, and other major weather systems were made throughout the remainder of 1962. Among these were Typhoons Doreen, Frieda, Emma, Gilda, and Ivy during October of that year; and Typhoons Jean, Caroline, and Karen during November. A photograph of Typhoon Karen is shown in Figure 1-3. On November 28, 1962, Typhoon Lucy was observed in the Pacific Ocean; a special weather alert giving the location and description of the cloud patterns associated with Typhoon Lucy was sent to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center at Guam. On November 12, a loss of focus became apparent in the pictures taken by camera system No. 2, the medium-angle camera system, and, 12 days later, useful picture transmission from this camera system ceased altogether as the result of vidicon filament failure. During its two and one-half months of operation, this camera system transmitted more than 12, 300 pictures, which were still classified as good to excellent when the malfunction developed. The quality of the late photographs returned by camera system No. 2 prior to defocusing is evidenced by the frame shown in Figure 1-4. The wide-angle camera system continued to provide TV pictures of very good quality. During the first four months of 1963, the satellite photographed storm systems in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and over the continents of North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Based on these photographs, storm advisories were broadcast to many parts of the world by the U. S. Weather Bureau. Examples of the photographs taken during this period are shown in Figure 1-5. Beginning on May 12, 1963, thirty-nine orbits of TIROS VI were programmed to provide meteorological support to the Project Mercury MA-9 manned orbital spaceflight. Of the 1246 pictures received from the satellite during this period, 1146 were analyzed in direct support of the Mercury flight. Thirty-seven nephanalyses were prepared from this data and transmitted directly to Project Mercury meteorologists. In addition, 253 of the pictures were forwarded to the Project Mercury meteorologists via photo-facsimile transmission, to supplement the nephanalyses. The TIROS VI satellite entered its second tropical storm season and continued its observations of major weather systems during the summer of 1963. In June, 1963, Tropical Storm Emily was observed off the southwest coast of Mexico,
Figure 1-2. Hurricane Daisy;
Figure 1-3. Typhoon Karen;
Camera 2, Remote; Orbit 236. Oct. 4, 1962
Camera 1, Remote; Orbit 827, Nov. 14, 1962
Figure 1-4. Cellular Formation West of Australia;
Camera 2, Remote; Orbit 726, Nov. 6, 7962
о. Vorfex Over Mid Atlantic; Camera 2, Remote Orbit 3154, April 22. 1963
b. Twin Vortex Over North Atlantic; Camera 1, Remote; Orbit 3183. April 25, 1963
с. Vortex Southwest of Australia; Camera 1, Remote; Orbit 1677, Jon. 11, 1963
d. Storm System West of California; Camera 1, Remote; Orbit 2006, Feb. 2, 1963
Figure 1 5. Pictures Taken During First Four months of 1963
and a well-developed storm vortex was kept under observation during the period from July 5 to July 9. On July 15, Typhoon Wendy was observed in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles northeast of the Philippines. On July 20, 1963, the satellite was programmed to take pictures of the moon's shadow crossing the surface of the earth during the solar eclipse of that date. A mosaic of pictures showing the moon's shadow over Alaska and Western Canada is presented in Figure 1-6. The appearance of Hurricane Arlene in the Caribbean area in early August marked the beginning of the 1963 hurricane season. This storm, first observed by TIROS VI on August 2, was monitored by the satellite for a period exceeding one week, and its position and description were continuously reported to the Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico weather stations as the storm progressed through the Caribbean. The coverage afforded by weather-satellite observations of Arlene is illustrated in the map of Figure 1-7, on which the sightings made by TIROS VI are designated. During the period from August 2 to August 7, Arlene decreased below hurricane intensity and was reclassified as a tropical-depression. The apparent remnants of the storm were observed on August 7. However, on August 8, as Arlene approached the east coast of the United States, its winds again increased to hurricane velocity. Sightings from TIROS VI on August 8, 9, and 10 showed Hurricane Arlene as its intensity reached a maximum and then as it veered away from the coast and moved on a northeasterly course into the North Atlantic. A picture of Arlene as it appeared on August 3 is shown in Figure 1-8. During September of 1963, TIROS VI continued monitoring weather systems throughout the world, sighting and tracking Typhoon Gloria over a one-week period in the early part of the month and transmitting pictures of Tropical Storm Hester on September 12. Typhoon Gloria is shown in Figure 1-9. In the middle of September, the new TIROS Command and Data Acquisition Station at Fairbanks, Alaska became operational. The TIROS VI satellite was used in the initial checkout interrogations made by the Alaska ground station, and was interrogated on a regular basis by that station after the station had become fully operational. On September 14, 1963, just four days before the satellite had completed one year of orbital operation, the one-year timers silenced both of the satellite's beacon transmitters as scheduled. However, accurate ephemeris data and adequate planning for this event permitted the ground stations to continue regular interrogation of TIROS VI, and the satellite continued to provide operational support by transmitting picture data of very good quality. Significant storms observed after beacon turn-off included Typhoon Jennifer, Hurricane Debra, Hurricane Edith, and Hurricane Flora. Debra and Edith are shown in Figure 1-10.
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Path of Hurricane Ar/ene as ifs /nfensify Decreased from Hurricane to Tropical Storm (August 7) and Increased Again to Hurricane (August 8, 9, and 10)
Figure 1-8. Hurricane Arlene on August 3, 7963, Orbit 4658, Camera 1, Remote
Figure /-9. Typhoon Gloria, Orbit 5797, Camera 7, Remote
Tropical Storm Debro (left) and Hurricane Edith. Picture of Debra from Orbit, 5405, Camera 7, Remote; Edith from Orbit 5463, Camera 7, Remote
The TIROS VI pictures contained exceptional detail of surface phenomena and they recorded, in addition to weather data, a number of geophysical events. Several photos of this type are shown in Figure 1-11. Figure 1-11 (a) shows a cloud of fine particles, believed to be a dust storm, extending over the Arabian Sea. Snow cover on the Himalaya Mountains is shown in Figure I11 (b). Ice covering James Bay and Hudson Bay is shown in Figure I-11 (c). Figure 1-11 (d) is representative of the detail observed in land masses in the TIROS VI pictures. On October 11, 1963, after TIROS VI had operated for 389 days in orbit, normal picture taking finally ceased because of a malfunction in the electronics associated with the wide-angle camera system. Although it was still possible to obtain picture data, the pictures were out of focus and were not useable for meteorological purposes. As stated previously, interrogations were continued on a limited basis for an additional 10 months to observe the long-term characteristics of the components and subsystems. A summary of this extended evaluation period, which lasted until late June 1964, is given in Appendix A of this report.
Dust Storm Over Arabian Sea
b. Snow Covered Himalaya Mountains
Hudson Bay and James
d. Northeastern Coast of North America fron Cape Cod to Gulf of St. Lawrence
Outlines of Ice Locked Bays Visible
Figure I П.
Geophysical Conditions and Surface Detail Recorded by TIROS VI
II. S Y S T E M DESIGN
The TIROS VI spacecraft (Figure II l) was approximately 42 inches in diameter, 22.5 inches high (excluding antennas) and weighed approximately 280.5 pounds. As on the previous TIROS spacecraft, solar cells were mounted on most of the top and side surfaces of the spacecraft to provide power for the subsystems. Approxi mately half of these cells were of the high efficiency "gridded" construction. The command receiving antenna was attached to the spacecraft's "top" surface, and a four element transmitting antenna was attached to the exterior of the base plate. Since TIROS VI carried no IR subsystem, the support arms and sensors of the omnidirectional infrared experiment, which had been mounted on TIROS П through V, were omitted from TIROS VI. The TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite System was essentially similar in design to the previous TIROS Series II satellite system, TIROS V. However, a one year timing and beacon disabling capability was added to the TIROS VI satellite in order to meet NASA's requirement that all satellites be equipped with a "fail safe", positive means for automatically and permanently disabling beacon transmitters after one year of operation in orbit. Two one year timers were installed on TIROS VI to implement this requirement. Each of the timers was connected in a manner to disable both beacon transmitters at the end of the one year period. The TIROS VI satellite did not carry the NASA infrared experiment. This satel lite was thus similar to the TIROS V satellite and the operation, power profiles, and thermal profiles of the two satellites were essentially the same. Dummy components having the same weights and approximately the same forms as the actual infrared subsystem components were fabricated and mounted on the TIROS VI baseplate in the positions normally occupied by the infrared components. Thus, the weight, balance, and flight characteristics of TIROS VI were also ap proximately the same as those of TIROS V. The TIROS VI subsystems were nearly identical to the TIROS V subsystems. A minor modification was made in the vidicon cathode circuit of the TV picture subsystem, to eliminate a potential source of noise and to improve reliability. A minor addition was made in the beacon "turn on" circuit, to make it less sus ceptible to spurious command.
Figure / / - 7 . The TIROS V/ Mefeoro/ogico/ Satellite
A photograph of the satellite baseplate, showing the subsystem components, is presented in Figure II-2. The satellite contained a wide-angle and a medium angle TV-camera system, each system consisting of a 500-line, one-half-inch vidicon TV camera, a camera electronics unit, a magnetic video-tape recorder, and a TV transmitter. The lens for the wide-angle camera had a 104-degree field-of-view, on the diagonal, corresponding to a surface coverage of approximately 800 statute miles square at the mean orbital altitude of 435 miles. The medium-angle camera lens had a 76-degree field-of-view, on the diagonal, corresponding to a surface coverage of approximately 500 miles square at orbital altitude. The video signals produced by the cameras in scanning 500 lines on a square image area during a two-second readout period had a frequency spectrum extending from d-c to a maximum of 62. 5 kilocycles (250 lines per second multiplied by 250 picture elements per line). The output of each camera system could be transmitted directly to an interrogating ground station or recorded on magnetic tape for later transmission to the ground. In either case, the video signal was first frequency-modulated on an 85-kc subcarrier. The lower sideband of this modulation fell within the optimum response of the magnetic tape recorder. The video subcarrier was frequency-modulated on a 235-Mc carrier for transmission to the ground. Both modes of TV-picture subsystem operation (direct and remote), as well as the auxiliary functions (telemetry read-out, magnetic attitude control, firing of spin-up rockets, and temporary turn-off and subsequent turn-on of the beacon transmitters), were controlled by the Command and Data Acquisition (CDA) ground stations by means of the instrumentation control subsystem. This subsystem provided for the programming of satellite operations in the ground equipment in advance of a communications contact with the satellite, and for the automatic and rapid generation and transmission of the programmed commands to the satellite during the contact. The satellite-borne portion of the subsystem received, demodulated, and distributed the commands to the individual control circuits of the satellite. The satellite contained two beacon transmitters, one operating at 136. 23 Me and the other at 136.92 Me. Thirty-three of the satellite's most significant operating parameters and six calibration voltages were telemetered to the ground station by modulation of the beacon carriers at the start of each satellite-to-ground contact. Attitude-indicator data, which provided a means for determining the attitude of the satellite's spin axis, was also sent to the ground complex by modulation of the beacon transmitters. As mentioned above, provision was made for automatically and irrevocably turning off the beacon transmitters at the end of one year of operation in orbit. A set of nine sun sensors, equally spaced about the periphery of the satellite, provided sun-pulse signals from which the angle (measured on the satellite's baseplate) between the TV-camera radial and the sun-direction vector could be
1 - Tape Recorder Power Converter 2 - TV Camera Control Package 3 - Beacon Transmitter 4 - Command Receivers 5 - One Year Timer 6 - Electronic Clock 7 - Attitude Control Switch 8 - Voltage Regulator 9 - De-Spin Timer and (hidden) TV Transmitter No. 1 10 - TV Transmitter Power Converter
Figure 11-2. TIROS
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 -
Tape Recorder Telemetry Switches Tape Recorder Electronics Power Supply Protection Unit Auxiliary Control Unit TV Camera No. 2 (medium angle) TV Transmitter No. 2 TV Camera Electronics RF Matching and Coupling Network and (hidden) Storage Batteries 20 - TV Camera No. 1 (wide angle)
VI Baseplate, Top View Showing Component Locations and IR Dummy Weights
determined for each TV picture. This information, which was combined with the video subcarrier and transmitted by the TV transmitters, was used together with spin-rate data to establish the north direction on each TV picture. Four means for controlling the satellite's dynamics were carried on the satellite: a precession damper, a de-spin mechanism, a set of spin-up rockets, and a magnetic attitude-control device. These devices were of identical design to their counterparts used on the TIROS V satellite. The satellite's ope rational spin rate (8 to 12 rpm) was dictated by a maximum, above which the TV pictures would exhibit "smearing", and a minimum, below which the gyroscopic stabilization of the spin axis would begin to lose effectiveness. Satellite spin-down from the relatively high orbit-injection spin rate (125 rpm, nominal), required for stabilization of the third-stage rocket and spacecraft combination, to an operational spin rate (8 to 12 rpm) was achieved by activation of the de-spin mechanism, which automatically deployed a pair of spin-reducing weights four to seven minutes after the satellite had separated from the thirdstage rocket. The precession dampers were uncaged after the separation of the satellite from the third-stage rocket, to dampen any "wobble" caused by precession or nutation. The precession dampers were also effective in quickly reducing any wobble which accompanied de-spin and spin-up. Five pairs of spin-up rockets were installed about the periphery of the baseplate. The firing of pairs of these rockets was controlled by the ground station so that the satellite spin rate could be increased after it had been reduced by interaction of the magnetic dipole of the satellite with the earth's magnetic field. The attitude-control device consisted of a 250-turn coil of wire, wrapped about the periphery of the satellite, and a 12-position switch that controlled the amount and direction of current in the coil. Using this device, the satellite's magneticdipole strength could be set by ground command. The spin-axis attitude could be changed a maximum of 15 degrees per day using this control over the magnetic interaction between the satellite and the earth. Electrical energy for operation of the satellite's electronic circuits was provided by the solar-cell array and by storage batteries. During the "daylight" portion of the orbit, the solar array supplied the satellite's energy needs and maintained the battery charge. During the "night-time" portion of the orbit, the batteries supplied electrical power to the satellite's subsystems. Initially, the TIROS VI ground complex consisted of two primary Command and Data Acquisition (CDA) stations, a back-up CDA station, and selected stations of NASA's Minitrack Network. One of the Minitrack stations, located at
Santiago, Chile, was provided with a limited command (clock-start) capability to extend the remote picture-taking capability to orbits on which the satellite was out of contact with either of the CDA stations. Later in the satellite's operating life, a new CDA station, located at Fairbanks, Alaska, was placed in operation and used to command the satellite. The locations and the operations of the other stations in contact with the satellite were the same as for TIROS V. The primary CDA stations were used for commanding or programming the satellite's picture-taking sequences, for receiving and processing sun-angle and telemetry data, and for receiving and processing the TV pictures and IR data transmitted by the satellite. The back-up CDA station, located at the Astro-Electronics Division of RCA, had the same capabilities as the primary CDA stations. This station was used as necessary during the operational period of TIROS VI to perform engineering checks of satellite operation. In addition, the back-up station assumed CDA responsibility during periods when the Wallops Island station was precluded from operation. The stations of the NASA Minitrack Network tracked the satellite to obtain ephemeris data for use by the CDA stations in satellite acquisition and tracking. The areas of the earth to be photographed by the satellite were determined by the U.S. Weather Bureau and specified by requests to NASA. These requests were examined at the NASA TIROS Technical Control Center (TTCC), located at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and became the basis for the operating programs prepared by TTCC. Detailed program instructions were teletyped from TTCC to the cognizant CDA station, where they were used in programming the station's command and control equipment. The program instructions specified the areas to be photographed, the camera system or systems to be used, the order in which the camera systems were to be used, and the number of "setpulses" to be sent to the satellite's clocks so that remote picture-taking could begin at the desired point in the orbit. When the satellite came within communication range of the CDA station, the pre-set program was read out and transmitted to the satellite at high speed. High-speed transmission of the preset program commands allowed time both for the playback of data that had been stored by the satellite and for the taking of direct pictures, during the period of each ground station-to-satellite contact.
The successful launching and operation in orbit of TIROS VI extended the record of the TIROS program to six successes in six attempts, and reaffirmed the validity of the fundamental design of the system and of the engineering and test phases of the program. The performance of the TV-picture subsystem was notable for its duration and for the excellent quality of the pictures. TIROS VI was the first meteorological satellite to provide useful picture data for more than one year in orbit. The high quality of the pictures is apparent from the illustrations in Section I of this report. On September 14, 1963, just four days before the operating life of TIROS VI reached one year, the one-year timers activated and turned off the satellite's beacon transmitters; however, the television and control functions of the satellite continued to be normal, and by using ephemeris data to predict the satellite's position, the ground stations were able to continue interrogation of the satellite and to obtain TV pictures of good quality until October 11, 1963, when the wide-angle camera (camera No. 1) defocused. Altogether, in one year and 24 days of operation in orbit, the TIROS VI satellite transmitted a total of 66, 674 TV photographs to the ground stations, of which 58, 667 (88 percent) were useful for meteorological analysis. Camera system No. 1 performed extremely well over this entire period, producing 54,097 pictures, of which 47,536 were meteorologically useful. The general quality of these pictures was excellent and decreased only slightly with time in orbit. While the operating life of camera system No. 2 was short compared with that of camera system No. 1, it nevertheless produced 12,338 pictures, over 90 percent (11,131) of which were meteorologically useful. The TV picture subsystem tape recorders and transmitters operated normally during the operating life of the satellite. The only persistent problem encountered in TV picture subsystem operation was the receipt of one or two blank frames out of the 32 frames in many of the picture sequences. This problem was found to be related to response of the camera shutter control circuit to spurious commands and was investigated in connection with the evaluation of the instrumentation control subsystem. The cause of the end of useful operation of camera system No. 1, after more than a year in orbit, was the failure of an elemental part
in the focus current regulator. Operation of camera system No. 2 ended sud denly, giving indications that a vidicon filament failure had occurred. (Vidicon life tests conducted in order to determine the cause of this failure, and of a similar failure of one of the TIROS V cameras, are described in Section IV of this report.) The instrumentation control subsystem performed normally with the exception of an isolated malfunction of the control circuits for emergency telemetry readout. The accuracy of the camera clocks in initiating remote picture sequences was good. The problem of missing video frames, mentioned above in connection with the TV picture subsystem, was extensively investigated; the results of this investigation and the de sign changes made to increase the immunity of the instrumentation control circuits to spurious commands are discussed in this report. The cause of abnormal operation of the spin up rocket control switch was investigated but could not be positively attributed to any malfunction of the switch or of the control circuit. In spite of the problem, normal spin rate increases were achieved in two of the three spin ups that were pro grammed during the 13 month useful life of the satellite, and the required operational spin rate was maintained. The attitude indicator and north indicator subsystems performed satisfactorily. On occasion, "sun pulses", caused by direct sunlight falling on the lens of the horizon scanner, appeared in the HI data but were easily distinguishable from the horizon pulses and did not hinder interpretation of the data. A fixed error existed in the time of triggering of one of the sun sensors in the north indicator subsystem. The nature of this problem was quickly recognized and the fixed error presented no problem in the use of the data. The performance of the dynamics control subsystem was excellent. A combina tion of low de spin ratio ( 0.072, as compared with the design value of 0.079) and of the low initial spin rate (99 rpm, as compared with the design value of 125 rpm) imparted by the third stage rocket resulted in a low spin rate after operation of the "Yo Yo" de spin mechanism.* However, a pair of spin up rockets, fired on orbit 33, increased the spin rate to 10.66 rpm, near the cen ter of the operational range of 8 to 12 rpm. Three pairs of spin up rockets were fired during the operational period of the satellite. The first two firings produced normal spin rate increases. On orbit 5283, (September 14, 1963), after the satellite had been in operation in orbit for approximately a year, a programmed spin up produced a low spin rate in crease. Because this spin up was accompanied by a significant increase in *The low separation spin rate had the greater effect. Even if the de spin ratio had been 0.079, the spin rate after de spin would have been only 7. 82 rpm, starting from the low separation spin rate of 99 rpm.
nutation, it is believed that one rocket either failed to fire or misfired, possibly as the result of degradation due to long exposure in the orbital environment. The precession damping mechanism performed extremely well, rapidly reducing the nutation angle of the satellite's spin axis below 1 degree after the initial spin down and after the spin ups. Both the accuracy of predicting satellite attitude and the control afforded over satellite attitude were excellent. Further refinement of the prediction program led to even more accurate predictions than had been obtained during operation of the previous TIROS satellites. The long evaluation period permitted a more de tailed study of the effects of magnetic biasing, the results of which are presented in this report. The electrical power supply subsystem performed normally, supplying sufficient energy for the satellite's needs except for one period, when the practice of pro gramming camera No. 2 simply to expend excess energy was continued into a period of low solar input to the solar energy converter. The low solar input (caused by an unfavorable sun angle and a small percentage of orbit time spent in sunlight) resulted in low available energy, so that the energy used exceeded the calculated energy available for the brief period in which the extra program ming of camera No. 2 was continued. When this type of programming was stopped, the available energy again exceeded the energy used. The battery bus voltage remained within specified limits throughout the operational period. The thermal response of the satellite was in good agreement with the predicted response. Component temperatures remained well within design limits and solar arra y temperatures remained within the range required for good conver sion efficiency. The operation of the С DA ground stations was satisfactory. The stations quickly adapted to the heavier programming loads placed on them by the concurrent operation of two satellites, and continued to operate efficiently. The quality of photographic negatives remained high and consistent.
IV. TV PICTURE SUBSYSTEM
The TV-picture subsystem for TIROS VI consisted of the satellite equipment for taking, storing, and transmitting television meteorological pictures and the ground equipment necessary for receiving, displaying, and recording the pictures. The satellite equipment comprised two separate and independent TV-camera chains, identical except for the camera lenses. Camera system No. 1 was provided with an Elgeet wide angle lens, with a 104-degree diagonal fie Id-of-view, corresponding to a ground-area coverage of approximately 800 miles square. Camera system No. 2 was provided with a Tegea-Kinoptic medium angle lens, with a 76-degree diagonal field-of-view, or a ground area coverage of approximately 500 miles square. Each camera chain consisted of the TV camera, a camera-electronics package, a magnetic tape recorder, and a radio transmitter. Each TV chain was capable of independent picture-taking in either of two modes. The direct mode of operation was used when pictures were to be taken while the satellite was within communications range of one of the CDA ground stations. In this mode, pictures were taken and, without being recorded, were transmitted directly to the interrogating ground station. When pictures were to be taken over an area of the earth remote from the CDA ground stations, the remote mode of camera operation was used. In this mode, the satellite was programmed to start taking pictures after a specific delay period, corresponding to the time required for the satellite to reach a position in its orbit over the area of interest. The pictures taken remotely were stored by the tape recorder until the satellite again came within range of a CDA ground station. Upon interrogation of the satellite by the ground station, the recorded pictures were played back by the recorder and transmitted. In both modes of picture-taking, the camera generated an analog video signal with a spectrum of approximately 62. 5 kc. This analog signal produced linear deviation of an 85-kc subcarrier oscillator in the recorder-electronics unit. When direct pictures were being taken, the frequency-modulated video subcarrier was fed directly to the 235-Mc TV transmitter for FM transmission to the ground station. When remote pictures were being taken, the video subcarrier was recorded on magnetic tape. Upon receipt of an appropriate command from a ground station, the video subcarrier was played back by the recorder and fed to the TV transmitter.
Each satellite transmission of direct or remote pictures was accompanied by sun-angle data that originated in the nine sun sensors, spaced about the periphery of the satellite. A separate subcarrier of 10 kc, modulated on the 235Mc TV carrier, conveyed the sun-angle information. The sun sensors produced pulses of three characteristic widths as the satellite rotated and each sensor, in turn, scanned the sun. The pulse widths were assigned to the sensors in a manner such that a combination of any two consecutive pulses was unique and permitted the orientation of the TV camera with respect to the sun to be determined. The pulses produced by the sensors were converted to 10-kc bursts of the same durations as the original pulses. In the direct mode of picture-taking, these 10-kc bursts were combined with the video subcarrier before it was fed to the TV transmitter. During remote picture-taking, the 10-kc bursts were recorded on a separate channel of the tape recorder. When the tape recording was played back for transmission of recorded data to the ground station, the 10-kc bursts were reconstituted (to ensure a sun-pulse subcarrier frequency of exactly 10 kc) and then combined with the video subcarrier. The combined video subcarrier and sun-angle signal were applied to the TV transmitter. This data, in addition to satellite attitude data, was used to determine the orientation of each picture frame during interpretation on the ground. The antennas and the coupling and matching network were identical in design to those used for the TIROS V satellite. The TV transmissions from the satellite were received at the CDA ground station by two receivers connected for polarization-diversity reception. Bandpass filters were used to separate the video subcarrier and the sun-angle subcarrier. The video subcarrier was demodulated and the video signal applied to video electronics circuits for display on a kinescope and to a magnetic tape recorder for storage. A time-reference output from the video electronics was applied to an index computer which generated, in binary form, a frame number for display with each picture. The index computer also provided, from signals originating in the ground equipment, index data identifying the satellite camera or tape recorder associated with each frame, for display with the TV picture. Provision was made for photographing the kinescope display, including the index data, with a 35-millimeter camera. The sun-angle data, after being separated from the video signal, was fed to a sun-angle computer, which provided sun-angle data in binary form to be displayed and photographed along with the TV pictures and other index data. The ground-station equipment was essentially the same as that which had been used for TIROS V.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION General
Camera System No. 1
The performance of camera system No. 1 was very good over a period of 389 days of operation in orbit. During this period 54,097 pictures were taken, 6,188 in the direct mode and 47, 909 in the remote mode, of which a total of 47,536 (87.7 percent) were meteorologically useful. The sudden demise of this camera system on orbit 5664 was caused by a change in electrical focus, prob ably as the result of a sudden reduction in focus current. Up to the time of fail ure, pictures taken by this camera system in both the direct and the remote modes of operation were of good to excellent quality and were rated high in useability. Although some problems were encountered with unprogrammed shutter operation, resulting in instances of "double exposure" and in blank frames, these occurrences were relatively infrequent. No difficulties of any significance were encountered in tape recorder operation. The TV transmitter operated reliably and without malfunction. The generally high quality of pictures taken by camera system No. 1 over the operational period is evident in the pictures presented in Section I of this report. An analysis was made of pictures selected at intervals throughout the operational period. For this analysis, the selected frames were projected from photo positives and measurements were made of the picture dimensions and of the de viation of the vidicon image axis (as indicated by the crossed reticle marks) from the center of the scanned area. The aspect ratios (width/height) were de termined from the measurements. These data are listed in Table IV 1. At no time did centering, size or aspect ralio deviations reveal system linearity variations greater than the standard limits of +10 percent, nor did these devia tions become severe enough to detract from picture usefulness. b. Camera System No. 2
Camera System No. 2 returned ll!, 338 pictures, 278 in the direct mode and 12, 060 in the remote mode, of which 11,131 (90. 2 percent) were meteorologi cally useful. On November 12, 1962 (orbit 8(>8),the direct picture capability of system No. 2 was lost. At approximately th<; same time, the remote pictures re ceived from this camera system began to exhibit a gradual defocusing. The de focusing continued to grow more pronounced until, on November 30 (orbit 1701), the camera failed.
PICTURE MEASUREMENTS, CAMERA SYSTEM NO. 1 Size Deviation (%) Vert. Horiz. Aspect Ratio (Normal
Centering Deviation (%) Vert. Horiz.
1.06 0 0.360 1.45 0 1.16 2.27
H/V - 1)
0.980 0.961 0.985 0.964 0.975 0.970 0.960 0.980 0.960 0.990 0.990 0.964 0.990 0.968
1 13 22 5 15 16 30 16 31
2 16 31 13 30 22 32 12 29 12 31 4 13 29 1-T
2.60 3.52 4.65 5.08
3.47 0.66 1.33 3.46 1.33 0 3.34 1.33
5.47 5.48 8.13
2.66 0.66 1.87 0.13 0.67 0.13 1.33 0.67
207 425 598 807
2.58 1.47 1.85 2.60 0.36 0.36 1.45 2.24 1.50 0.71 2.19 1.13 1.13 0.37 1.50 1.11 0.37 1.11 1.49 2.20 1.85 1.85
0.35 2.50 0.35 0.38 0.38 1.10 0.73 0.81 0.81 1.10
0.40 3.47 0.67 0.67 1.33 1.33 0.67 0.53 0.53 1.33 2.64 0.80 2.66 2.66 0.40 0.53 1.33 0.53 2.54 1.33
1029 1200 1401 1604 1805
3.33 3.33 1.87 4.00 0.90 5.33 0.19 4.54 2.66 2.66 1.33 0.50
— 2.0 —
0.992 0.953 0.970 0.980 0.989 1.000 1.000 0.970 0.990 0.960 1.000 0.970 0.980
1.10 0.37 0.37 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75
16 -D 31-D
PICTURE MEASUREMENTS, CAMERA SYSTEM NO. 1 (Continued)
Size Deviation (%) Vert. 0.935 0.67 Horiz. Aspect Ratio (Normal H/V = 1) 0.990 0.980
Orbit No. 2222 2406
17 29 1 16 31 5 17 31 3 15 31 8 20 31 1 16 31 2 7 16 30 1 16 31 2 16 30
Centering Deviation (%) Vert.
1.85 1.85 1.11 1.11
0 -0.78 — 0.37 0.74 —
0.75 0.76 0.75 0.75 0.75 1.47 1.47 1.47 1.57 2.30 1.52 1.14 1.14 1.14 1.83 1.14 1.83 0.81 0.81 1.20 0.81 1.83 0.74 1.47 1.60 1.60 1.59
2.0 5.5 1.0 1.0 3.0 3.0 6.5
1.60 0.935 0.67 0.53 0.53 0.93 1.87 1.87 3.08 2.66 1.20 0.53 0.67 0.67 0.67 0.67 1.87 0.80 0 1.87 0.80 0.13 0.13 2.00
— 2.26 2.66 3.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 1.0
0.40 0.80 2.67
— 0.27 0.27 — 1.47 2.00 0 2.00 2.67 — 0.67 0.67 0 2.80 — 0.40
1.000 1.000 0.961 1.000 0.990 0.990
0.972 0.970 0.961
0.72 0 0.72
0 0.35 —
0.981 0.955 0.955 0.961 0.961 0.961
0.970 0.949 0.949 0.959
-0.38 0.36 0
— — — 3.0 1.0 2.5 3.0 2.0 4.0 2.5
2.00 2.33 0
— — — 1.0 0.5 1.0 5.0 2.0 2.0 3.5
0.981 0.964 0.989
— 0.990 1.000
4393 4726 5013 5206 5437 5534 5638
0.975 1.000 0.99
1.000 0.995 0.995 0.980
During the first month of operation, the pictures from camera system No. 2 had been of very good quality. The nature of the failure indicated a sudden filament failure in the camera vidicon tube. Both the tape recorder and the TV transmitter in camera system No. 2 operated normally. No problems were encountered with either of these units. The camera system No. 2 pictures were evaluated by analyzing frames selected at random. These frames were projected and measurements were made to determine the centering, aspect ratio, and size deviations from the normal. The results of this analysis are given in Table IV-2. As with camera system No. 1, the size, aspect ratio, and centering variations of camera system No. 2 never exceeded the standard limits of +10 percent overall system linearity, and did not detract from picture usefulness.
2. Satellite Components a. TV Cameras
(1) Camera No. 1 The operating life of camera No. 1 in both modes was exceptionally long and the camera produced pictures of excellent quality throughout its life. Normal camera programming frequency was in use during most of the operating period. Several problems were encountered but none were serious enough or prolonged enough to reduce the usability of the pictures significantly until the final failure during orbit 5664 on October 11, 1963. The failure on orbit 5664 and several instances of temporary abnormal operation were investigated. The results of these investigations are described in the following paragraphs. Throughout the operational period of camera No. 1, there were occurrences of programmed remote frames for which no video was received. This problem, which had also been encountered in the operation of the TIROS V satellite, was traced to spurious direct-camera commands that occurred while the satellite cameras were operating in the remote recording mode. Because the shutter travels alternately in one direction and then the other in making successive exposures, a logic circuit is employed to determine the direction in which the shutter must travel to make each exposure. This circuit consists of a bistable multivibrator which is enabled during the entire period of remote operation and which , in normal operation, changes state just before each shutter operation. The circuit which drives the shutter is enabled only during a four-second gating period which includes the two-second picture-readout interval. If a spurious direct-camera command is received when the "direction-sensing"
PICTURE MEASUREMENTS, CAMERA SYSTEM NO. 2
2 4 11 1
7 16 30 3 2 16 28 16 31 2 14 16 31 17 31 10 16 31 1 16 1 16 31
Centering Deviation (%) Vert.
1.5 2.2 1.5 1.5
1.9 1.9 1.9 3.1 1.4 1.1 2.5 0.7 1.1
Size Deviation (%) Vert.
0.4 1.4 1.4 1.9
2.4 2.4 2.4 2.0 0.4 0.9 0.2 0 0.5
0.3 2.2 2.6 3.0 2.6 1.8 2.6
0.5 1.5 2.0 1.9 2.8 2.8 3.5 6.4 3.3 1.8 1.6 2.2 4.1 0 1.60 2.0 0.8 2.0 0 0.8 0 1.0 2.4 2.5 1.2 0.1 1.4
Aspect Ratio (Normal H/V = 1) 0.953 0.990 0.990
1.000 0.981 0.981 0.972
2.2 2.2 3.2 2.2 3.0 1. 13 0. 75 0.8 0
0.981 0.990 0.981 1.000 0.990
335 425 550 598 684
0 0.8 0 0 0 0 1.2 0.4
0.8 0 0. i 1. 1 0.7 0.8 0.4 1.2
0.8 0 0 0.7 1.4 0.4 0.2 0.6
0.990 1.000 0.981
0.990 1.000 0.990
multivibrator is enabled but power is not applied to the solenoid, then the directionsensing circuit changes its state but the shutter does not operate. The next genuine shutter pulse (occurring in the two-second interval when the shutter solenoid is energized) causes the circuit to attempt to drive the shutter in the same direction in which it last moved, and the exposure is lost. The several ways in which spurious shutter pulses can be produced, and the changes in the control subsystem which have been made to prevent future occurrences of this kind, are explained in Section V of this report, in which the evaluation of the instrumentation control subsystem is presented. In addition to increasing the immunity of the entire control subsystem to spurious commands, the modifications made will reduce the susceptibility of the shutter circuit to system noise. On October 11, 1963, after 389 days of successful operation in orbit, camera No. 1 ceased producing usable pictures. The loss of useful pictures was noted on orbit 5664, during the playback of a remote sequence of pictures. After taking eight normal pictures, the camera underwent a drastic change in focus. Beginning with frame No. 22, the pictures were reduced in size from preceding frames as well as being badly out of focus. Figure IV-l(a) and (b) show frames 28 and 24, taken shortly before defocusing took place. Figure IV-l(c) shows frame 22*, the first frame in which defocusing was present. Tests were immediately conducted at AED to determine the failure mode which would most closely approximate the observed picture degradation of the No. 1 camera system. Three different failure modes in which focus could be lost were simulated in laboratory tests. In the first mode, the vidicon was defocused electromagnetically by simply decreasing focus current while holding all other test values constant.In Figures IV-2(a), IV-3(a), and IV-4(a), the normal operating conditions of the TIROS camera are given and a normal frame taken under these conditions is shown. The frame in Figure IV-2(b) was taken with all values except focus current maintained the same as in Figure TV-2(a). The focus current was reduced from 101 milliamperes to 92.5 milliamperes. In Figure IV-2(c), the conditions were again the same, except that focus current was reduced to 88 milliamperes. For the second failure mode, the vidicon was defocused electrostatically by increasing the voltage applied to the G3 electrode while all other operating conditions and values remained normal (as in Figure IV-3(a). Figure IV-3(b) shows the result of increasing the voltage applied to grid G3 from 192 volts to 245 volts. A further increase to 300 volts resulted in the defocusing shown in Figure IV-3(c). *The remote frames are numbered in the order of playback, which is the reverse of the order of taking the pictures.
Orbit 5664, Camera 1, Remote, Frame 28
Orbit 5664, Camera 1, Remote, Frame 24
Orbit 5664, Camera 7, Remote, Frame 22
*Frames are numbered in order of playback Figure IV 1. Camera System No. 7 Pictures, Taken Before (above) and After Defocus/ng on Orbit 5664
Normo/ Operating Conditions
Focus current = 707 ma Grid No. 3 Voltage = 792 vo/fs Light source 2500 foot lamberts Operating temperature = 30°C Shutter triggering rate = 30 seconds
Ь. Normal Operating Conditions Except: Focus current = 92.5 mo
c. Normal Operating Conditions Focus current = 88 ma
Figure IV 2.
Results of Vidicon Tests, Showing Effects of Decreasing Focus Current (Electromagnetic Defocusing)
Normal Operating Conditions Focus current = 70? ma Grid No. 3 Voltage = 792 volts Light source 2500 foot lamberts Operating temperature 30 С Shuffer triggering rote = 30 seconds
Normal Operating Conditions Except: C3 Voltage = 245 volts
Normal Operating Conditions Except: G3 Voltage = 300 volts
Figure IV 3. Results of Vidicon Tests, Showing Effects of Increasing C3 Voltage (Electrostatic Defocusing)
The third failure mode simulated a malfunction of, or a change of input voltage to, the chopper circuit in the camera power supply, resulting in reduced or increased voltages on all of the vidicon electrodes. Figure IV-4(a) shows a normal raster. In Figure IV-4(b), the target voltage, the G3 electrode voltage, and the G2 electrode voltage have been decreased to about 15 percent below their normal values. In Figure IV-4(c), these voltages have been decreased further to 20 percent below normal. In Figure IV-4(d), the voltages have been increased to 25 percent above normal by increasing the input voltage to the chopper transformer to the maximum possible value of 24. 5 volts. From the evidence presented in Figures IV-2 through IV-4 it was concluded that electromagnetic defocusing, as the result of reduced focus current, most closely approximated the changes in picture focus and dimensions of the TIROS VI camera No. 1 pictures. Increases in the G3 voltage, causing electrostatic defocusing, would almost certainly be accompanied by changes in the other electrode voltages. Thus the second failure mode is improbable. The third mode of failure, although more probable than the second, does not produce the effects typical of the TIROS VI pictures after orbit 5664. A comparison of Figures IV-l(c), IV-2, IV-3 and IV-4 shows that the TIROS VI pictures displayed the effects of electromagnetic defocusing caused by decreased focus current. On October 16, 1963, special programming devised by AED evaluation engineers was employed at the Wallops Island CDA station to interrogate camera system No. 1 of TIROS VI. This programming was designed to apply a sudden electrical stress to the focus current regulator circuit in an attempt to "shock" the circuit into normal operation. This attempt, and other attempts made on October 22 and 25, were unsuccessful, and no further meteorologically useful picture data were obtained from camera No. 1. The reduction of focus current is attributed to degradation of a circuit element in the focus current regulator. (Testing has indicated* that the other possible cause of reduced focus current, namely vidicon filament degradation, leads rapidly to total filament failure and total loss of focus current.) Failure mode tests carried out in connection with the failure of camera system No. 2 of TIROS V revealed several circuit-element failure possibilities in the regulator circuit which would result in reduced focus current. The results of these tests have been reported in the TIROS V evaluation report, in connection with the camera 2 failure of TIROS V. Briefly, a decrease in d-c current gain (Ip;/Ig) of either of the current-regulating transistors, as the result of aging, or the failure of the zener diode that is used as the source of reference voltage, could bring about the decrease on focus current. Determination of the specific circuit element which caused degradation of camera system No. 1 can not be made. *Refer to evaluation of camera system No. 2 in "TIROS V Meteorological Satellite System Post-Launch Evaluation Report."
Normo/ Operating Conditions Focus current = 107 mo Grid No. 3 Voltage = 792 volts Light source = 2500 rooMomberfs Operating temperature = 30 С Shutter triggering rate = 30 seconds
Electrode Voltages Reduced by 75 Percent G7 Voltage « 26 volts C2 Voltage = 257 vo/»s G3 Voltage ~ 763 volts Target Voltage = 0.85 volt
Electrode Voltages Reduced by 20 Percent Gl Voltage ~ 25 volts C2 Voltage = 242 volts G3 Vo/foge = 754 volts Target Voltage = 0.80 v o / t
d. Electrode Voltages Increased by 25 Percent Gl Voltage = 39 volts G2 Voltage = 378 volts G3 Voltage = 240 volts Target Voltage = 7.25 volts
Figure IV 4.
Results of Vidicon Tests, Showing Effects of Decreasing and Increasing Vidicon Electrode Voltages
Camera system No. 1 continued to operate in this defocused condition for an additional 10 months in orbit, with only a very gradual change in the appearance of the pictures. This condition indicates that, after the initial, sudden decrease, the focus current stabilized, giving further evidence of a focus current regulator problem rather than of vidicon filament degradation. Documentation of the 10-month post-operational period is given in Appendix A of this report. (2) Camera No. 2 During early orbits, camera No. 2 operated normally in both modes, yielding pictures of good quality and use ability. (See Figures 1-1, 1-2, and 1-4.) On November 12, 1962 (orbit 808) programming for direct-picture sequences failed to produce any pictures. Since only the remote mode of operation was being programmed during most of this period, no immediate effect of this loss was felt. However, at approximately the same time, a loss of focus of the remote pictures began and gradually grew more pronounced. This condition persisted and, on orbit 1080 (November 30), pictures could no longer be obtained from camera No. 2. The last pictures received were taken during orbit 1071. The loss of direct-picture capability occurred sometime between orbit 766 on November 9, the orbit on which the last direct picture was received, and orbit 808 on November 12, on which no direct pictures could be obtained. The final direct picture received on orbit 766 is shown in Figure IV-5. The problem was investigated by examining picture and telemetry data received by the San Nicolas Island ground station on November 12, during orbits 808 and 809, and by testing camera operation in both the direct and the remote modes during orbit 823 on November 13. The frames from orbits 808 and 809 contained no video, even though the satellite had been at attitudes in which the cameras were pointed toward the earth during shutter operation. During orbit 809, direct camera 1 operation was programmed to occur within five minutes of direct camera 2 operation. The direct pictures taken by camera 1 clearly showed earth areas, confirming that the satellite attitude was suitable for taking pictures in which either cloud cover or the earth's surface should be visible. The camera 2 direct pictures did not contain video. Telemetry data verified the presence of vidicon high voltage and of filament current, indicating that the problem lay elsewhere, and leading to the conjecture that direct pictures could not be taken because the shutter would not operate in the direct mode. Since power is applied to the shutter drive circuit through separate and independent circuits in direct and remote operation, it was plausible that the shutter might operate normally during remote operation but not during direct operation.
Figure /V-5. Orbit 766, Camera 2, Direct. Final Direct Frame Received from Camera 2
This possibility was tested on November 13 (orbit 823) by using special programming to operate camera system No. 2 in a "direct-remote" mode. In this dual mode (which is used only for emergency operation or evaluation testing), the camera system is turned on in the direct mode to warm up the camera, the tape recorder signal electronics circuits and the transmitter. Instead of programming the taking of direct pictures, however, the camera clock is programmed to start a remote recording sequence almost immediately, so that the remote sequence begins while the system is still in direct camera operation. In this mode, power is not applied to the tape transport (because the TV transmitter is operating) and although the shutter pulses are initiated by the camera clock, unregulated minus 26-volt power to operate the shutter circuit is applied from the same source as in the direct mode of operation. Picture data obtained in this mode is transmitted directly to the ground station because the transmitter and tape recorder signal electronics are operating. On orbit 823, four frames were taken in the "direct-remote" mode, after which direct operation was ended, allowing the camera system to record the remaining frames in the normal remote sequence. The four frames taken in the "directremote" mode were without video, while the remaining frames contained video showing earth details. This test further confirmed that, even though the satellite attitude was suitable for obtaining recognizable video signals, and even though pictures could be taken in the remote mode immediately thereafter, camera system No. 2 could not produce a video signal in the direct mode. It further confirmed the suspicion that the problem
was related to application of minus 26-volt power to the shutter circuit in the direct operating mode. Minus 26-volts is applied to several other circuits, including telemetry circuits, through the K2 relay in the direct mode. Since these other circuits functioned normally, the K2 relay has not been suspected. It is therefore probable that diode CR312, through which minus 26-volts is applied to the shutter circuit during direct operation, failed. Such a failure could only be considered a random failure, because the 1N538 diode used in this application has a surgecurrent rating of 9 amperes for 160 milliseconds. The load current during shutter operation is only 3 amperes for 30 milliseconds. The gradual defocusing, which began on November 12, accelerated on November 29 and culminated in the failure of camera No. 2 during orbit 1071, on November 30. The rapid decrease in focus during orbit 1071, leading to the loss of useful pictures, is evident in the four frames shown in Figure IV-60 By the time frame 14 was taken, all picture definition had been lost. Further attempts to obtain pictures from camera system No. 2 were unsuccessful. The failure was attributed to the same condition which had caused gradual progressive defocusing over a two and one-half week period. Telemetry data indicated that the vidicon filament current and focus current (the focus coil and the vidicon filament are connected in series) had decreased to zero. The investigation of this problem was centered on failure-mode testing of the focus current regulator and of the vidicon filament. (This testing was also applicable to the failure of camera No. 2 on TIROS V, which had given similar indications symptomatic of vidicon filament or focus current regulator failure.) Simulated element failures of the focus current regulator circuit revealed that any probable element failure in either the regulating circuit or in the reference voltage circuit would result in a quiescent value of focus (and filament) current rather than zero current. Accelerated life testing of vidicon filaments was carried out over a period of one year. These tests and the results obtained are described in the TIROS V evaluation report. Plots of filament resistance versus cycles of filament voltage application showed that, as the filament approaches failure, its resistance increases at an exponential rate. The defocusing of camera No. 2 followed such an exponential increase, the terminal conditions of which are evident in Figure IV-6. Furthermore, in the testing of six filaments, one failed after 2680 cycles, while all of the others continued to function for well over 15,000 cycles. Thus it is possible for some vidicon filaments to be comparatively short lived. Because no failure mode of the focus current regulator that resulted in total loss of focus current could be found, and because the degradation of vidicon filaments during aging tests followed a characteristic similar to that of the camera No. 2 vidicon in its last two and one-half weeks of operation, the loss of focus in camera No. 2 vidicon was attributed to failure of the vidicon filament.
о. Camera 2, Remote, Frame 25*
Ь. Camera J, Remote, Frame 23
с. Camera 2, Remote, Frame 21
d. Camera 2, Remote, Frame 74
Frames are numbered in order of playback
Figure IV 6.
Camera System No. 2 Pictures from Ofoit 7077, Showing Rapid Loss of Focus Leading to Loss of Useful Pictures
The tape recorders in both camera subsystems operated normally. No significant problems were encountered. Except for infrequent and isolated instances of signal dropouts, possibly due to deterioration of the magnetic coating on the tapes, the pictures had good resolution and the flutter was well within specified limits. Projected photographic transparencies of remote pictures from orbits spaced throughout the operational period were examined for general quality and for any evidence of tape recorder degradation. In the pictures examined, beginning on orbit 641, there was evidence that the first part of the first picture in a remote sequence was being recorded on the portion of the tape containing the metallic endof-tape sensor. This evidence included tape dropouts, picture tearing, and loss of synchronizing signal during the first part of the picture. In frame 32 of orbits 2683 and 3144 (Figure IV-7), dropouts occurred which caused synchronization problems in the ground station equipment. One other condition that was noted in the frames examined is shown in frame 10 of orbit 4726, Figure IV-8. White spots appeared on this frame (and on frames 25, 28, and 30 of this same orbit) at a rate of about 200 spots per second. Since these spots did not recur on later pictures, it is believed that they were caused by local ground station interference. Further, because of the regularity and spacing of the spots, it is probable that the interference source was a pulse radar. In general, the remote pictures give evidence of excellent performance of the satellite tape recorders as shown in Figures IV-9. c. TV Transmitters
The FM telemetry transmitters used on TIROS VI for transmitting the video signals were identical to the units used on the TIROS IV and V satellites, having a minimum power output of two watts at the operating frequency of 235 megacycles per second. The information contained in pass summaries and reports of signal strengths from the PMR and AED ground stations indicated that the received power levels were generally greater than the levels calculated for the minimum value of transmitter power. There was no indication of reduction in the output power of the transmitters throughout the operational period of the satellite. The good picture quality reported by all ground stations indicated proper operation of the modulator sections of the transmitters.
Orbif 2683, Camera J, Remote, Frame 32
Orbit 3144, Camera 7, Remote Frame 32
Figure IV 7.
Evidence of End of Tape Sensor Interfering with Recording of First Picture in Remote Sequences
Figure /V 8. Roo'ar Interference Observed on Orbit 4726 (Camera 7, Remote, Frame 25)
Camera 2, Remote
Orbit 293, Camera 2, Remote
Figure /V 9.
Typical TIROS VI Remote Pictures Indicative of Normal Tape Recorder Performance
Ground Station Components
The ground station components of the TV subsystem performed satisfactorily. Although failure rates did increase with the increased use of the ground station to program and interrogate two operational satellites, data losses were infrequent because of improved techniques and increased efficiency of operating personnel. More detailed information concerning operation of the ground station components during TIROS VI operation is contained in Section ХП of this report.
The instrumentation-control subsystem consisted of the satellite and groundstation components required for remote control of satellite operations by the Command and Data Acquisition (CDA) ground stations. The limited-command (clockstart) capability, which had been added at the NASA Minitrack Station in Santiago, Chile, for TIROS III operation, was again used for TIROS VI. This capability allowed the satellite to take pictures during orbits when it was beyond the remotepicture clockset capability of the primary CDA stations. The control subsystem permitted the satellite to be programmed for direct or remote picture-taking sequences, for playback of remotely acquired TV data, for telemetry readout, and for initiation of dynamics-control functions, i.e., magnetic attitude control, the firing of spin-up rockets, and back-up activation of the TEAM and de-spin mechanisms. In addition, the control subsystem provided a capability for turning off the satellite's beacon transmitters. The satellite-borne components of the instrumentation-control subsystem included two command receivers, two camera-control units, an auxiliary-control unit, two timing and sequencing (clock) units, and a magnetic attitude control. All of these components were essentially the same as those which had been used on TIROS V. The ground-station components included a command transmitter, a control-tone generator, a command programmer, an antenna programmer, a master clock, a re mote-picture time-set unit, a clock-set-pulse demodulator, and a relay power supply. These components were the same as those used for TIROS V operation. The ground-station equipment controlled the programming of the tracking antennas, the initiation of commands to the satellite, and the operation of the TV and data recorders. The satellite could be operated in any one of three modes; namely, direct, remote, and playback. Direct operation was programmed when it was desired to take cloud-cover photographs of the area surrounding the interrogating CDA station. Remote operation permitted the satellite to be preset while in contact with a CDA station, so that it would take photographs over a geographically remote area and store the photographs on magnetic tape. Playback operation permitted playback of recorded cloud-cover photographs, including the related north-indicator data. When the satellite was neither in contact with a CDA station nor in a remote picture-taking sequence, it was in a standby condition, in which power consumption was at a minimum.
The various modes of satellite operation, the program sequences that could be used in each mode, and the functions that could be performed in each mode are described in detail in the TIROS VI final report.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION General
The instrumentation control subsystem performed reliably and without mal function throughout the operational period of the satellite and for many months thereafter. When, after almost 13 months of successful orbital operation, the operational life of the TV picture subsystem ended, the instrumentation control subsystem continued to function normally, permitting post ope rational evalua tions of the satellite subsystems that remained fully or partially operational. The high percentage of useful pictures returned by TIROS VI (greater than 87 per cent for camera No. 1 and greater than 90 percent for camera No. 2) indicates the excellent performance of the subsystem. The satellite responded to all com mands with good sensitivity, indicating a uniform satellite antenna pattern as well as very good performance of the command receiver. The camera control and auxiliary control circuits functioned normally. However, it became evident during operation of TIROS VI, (and of its contemporary, TIROS V), that increased immunity of the camera control circuits to spurious command signals would im prove total system performance. Such spurious signals were encountered with increasing frequency during operation of TIROS IV, V, and VI. The occurrence of spurious commands had been consistently higher in areas of concentrated population where the greatest radio activity would be expected. Although the origins of these signals are not definitely known, it can be assumed that they arose from a variety of causes, including aircraft communications in the VHF wave bands, amateur radio transmissions, accidental transmissions from the ground stations, cross modulation products of command transmission by two ground stations, and many other coincidental products of cross modulation of two or more radio waves. The motion of the satellite, giving rise to a dopper modulation of signals arriving at its command antenna, could account for a great variety of modulations in the frequency range to which the control circuits are responsive.
2. Shutter Problem
A problem encountered on TIROS V and TIROS VI as the result of spurious command was the receipt of some frames which were devoid of video. An addi tional, but very infrequent, problem was the receipt of frames containing multiple images, indicating multiple exposures of the vidicon during one picture taking interval.
Both problems were investigated in connection with the TIROS V evaluation effort and both were found to be related to operation of the camera shutter. The blank frames occurred when the direction-control multivibrator of the shutter control circuit (Figure V-l) received spurious pulses. (The shutter normally moves across the face of the vidicon alternately in one direction and then the other in making successive exposures. The direction of movement is controlled by the state of a bistable multivibrator.) In response to the spurious pulses, the multivibrator changed state in the time between genuine shutter pulses. The shutter did not actually operate during a spurious pulse because power for driving the shutter is available for only a short period beginning just before and ending just after a genuine shutter pulse. When the next genuine shutter pulse occurred, the circuit attempted to drive the shutter in the same direction in which it had last traveled. Under these conditions the shutter could not move, and the exposure was lost. The occurrence of this condition was random, depending on the number and the timing of the spurious command signals. The multiple exposures mentioned earlier resulted from the arrival of spurious shutter commands while the minus 26-volt driving power was available to the shutter circuit. Arriving at that time, the spurious pulses caused the shutter to operate, exposing the vidicon faceplate. The genuine shutter pulse also exposed the vidicon shortly afterward, well within the vidicon's storage period, and the images resulting from both exposures were present in the readout. As the first phase of the investigation into the shutter problem, the shutter drive circuit was tested to determine its susceptibility to system noise or system transients. The circuit was found to have a high degree of immunity to such spurious inputs. As a result of these tests, it was suspected that actual shutter pulses were reaching the shutter control circuit. The investigation of the spurious shutter commands was then directed to the shutter-pulse logic circuit in the camera control unit. A functional diagram of this circuit is shown in Figure V-2(a). By considering the operation of this circuit, several ways in which a spurious shutter pulse could be produced with no shutter command input become apparent. When the command for direct camera operation is received, minus 24.5-volt power is applied to the circuit.
SHUTTER P O W E R ( 2 6 V DC )
~* I N V E R T E R
SHUTTER DIRECTION CONTROL
| SHUTTER ' | S O L E N O I D COIL
BISTABLE MULTIVIBRATOR 1
Figure V 7 . Shutter Control Circuit, Block Diagram
If either of the two bistable multivibrators should turn on in the "set" condition (a "one" output), a shutter pulse would be sent to the shutter drive circuit. A spurious direct picture command received during this period would, of course, produce the same result. The shutter pulse logic circuit has been redesigned for TIROS VII and УШ to prevent either of the conditions described above from causing a spurious shutter pulse. The modification will also give the protection needed to prevent a spurious direct camera command from causing shutter actuations during re mote camera operation. The modified circuit is shown in functional form in Figure V 2(b). The significant change is the addition of an AND gate in the out put circuit. This gate must receive the minus 28 volt input (which is not present until 28 seconds after the beginning of a direct picture command) before it will respond to shutter commands of any kind. Thus the camera subsystem must be turned on in the direct mode of operation before direct mode shutter pulses can be generated. Spurious direct picture commands of the required duration are unlikely. In addition to this protection against spurious shutter pulses, future TIROS satellites, beginning with TIROS VII, will contain a command address unit. A coded address signal will then be required before the satellite will respond
24.5 V ОС AT TIME DIRECT PICTURE COMMAND IS DETECTED
0.5 PPS FROM CLOCK
Shutter Pulse Logic Circuit Used on TIROS VI
24. 5 V DC AT TIME DIRECT PICTURE COMMAND IS DETECTED
0.5 PPS FROM CLOCK
28 V DC AFTER 28 SECON D DELAY
b. Shutter Pulse Logic Circuit After Modification
Figure V 2.
Shutter Pulse Logic Circuit Before and After Modification
to a function command. This unit will further reduce the possibility of response to a spurious command, as well as prevent genuine commands intended for one satellite from producing responses in other satellites.
3. Emergency Telemetry Problem
Although emergency telemetry operation was normal on most of the occasions on which it was programmed, instances occurred when no response was received to the emergency telemetry command. These instances were apparently random in nature and were not experienced before May 1963,(approximately 9 months after launch). The two possible causes of this problem, namely, an intermittent (circuit) failure in the spacecraft or programming errors, were investigated. The possibility of programming errors is remote, in view of the experience of the ground station personnel. Examination of the program and pass summary for orbit 3607 (May 23, 1963), an orbit on which emergency telemetry was commanded but not received, clearly indicated a diligent and repeated attempt to obtain an emergency telemetry response. After normal programming of a direct-camera I sequence, the control mode was changed to "manual-operate", and the emergency telemetry command was initiated. After the command had been in effect for longer than the period normally required to produce an emergency telemetry response, the command was removed. After a short pause, (with the satellite still in the direct-camera I mode) the emergency telemetry command was initiated a second time. After this second command had been in effect for the approximate duration normally required to obtain an emergency telemetry response, the satellite's beacon transmitters turned off. This was the result of normal response of the "beacon killer" circuit, which responds to the same command as emergency telemetry but of longer duration, and indicated that a normal start-clock command was being generated. Since the telemetry response at the beginning of direct and playback operation of the camera systems was normal throughout this period, the problem area was considered to be limited to the time-delay circuit for the emergency telemetry command. The capacitive element in the time-delay circuit is a "wet" capacitor. This type of capacitor can "punch through" during a period of charging and then "heal" itself during subsequent discharging. However, if this had happened, the change in characteristics of the capacitor also would have resulted in a substantial change in the time delay that precedes response to the emergency telemetry command on those occasions when emergency telemetry was successfully obtained from the satellite. Since this was not the case, a more plausible explanation would be a change in the voltage of the zener diode that establishes the threshold level of the emergency telemetry circuit. The emergency telemetry
problem was not limited to operation in one mode only. It occurred in both the direct and the remote modes of operation, thus precluding the possibility of a poor start-clock pulse (i.e., emergency telemetry command) in one mode only. In addition, satellite telemetry showed that no significant temperature changes accompanied this malfunction, thus reducing the probability of a significant change in the characteristics of the telemetry-circuit driving transistor.
VI. TELEMETRY AND TRACKING SUBSYSTEM
The TIROS VI telemetry and tracking subsystem was similar in design and function to its counterpart on TIROS V. However, to implement the NASA requirement for a positive, fail-safe means of disabling the beacon transmitters after one year of orbital operation, two 1-year timers, designed to cause automatic and irrevocable interruption of beacon power after one year, were incorporated in the subsystem. The subsystem consisted of two beacon transmitters and two associated telemetrysampling circuits, for the redundant transmission of tracking signals and telemetry data over two beacon frequencies: one at 136.23 Me, the other at 136.92 Me. Ground-based components of the subsystem utilized these transmissions to track the beacons, and, after demodulation, to record the telemetered data. The beacon signals were transmitted continuously by means of 50-mw transmitters that were amplitude modulated by signals representative of satellite attitude. When the satellite received a command for direct-camera operation or playback of recorded pictures, or when emergency telemetry was commanded, a switching action took place which connected the output of either telemetry circuit to its associated beacon transmitter and initiated a telemetry-readout cycle. Each telemetry circuit consisted of a 40-position electromechanical selector switch, a voltage-controlled subcarrier oscillator (SCO), operating at a center frequency of 1300 cps, and various temperature sensors and voltage- and currentsampling networks used as modulation sources for the SCO. When a telemetry-sampling cycle was initiated by any of the above methods, the selector switch stepped through its 40 positions, remaining at each of 39 datasampling positions for 0. 8 second, and stopping at the 40th, or "home, " position. At each sampling point, the voltage generated by the sensing device was applied to the SCO through the switch, causing a proportional shift in the SCO frequency. The upper and lower limits of the voltages from the sensing devices were +2.5 volts d-c and -2.5 volts d-c, corresponding to SCO frequency shifts of +100 and -100 cycles per second, respectively (for an overall SCO output frequency range of 1200 to 1400 cps). The output of the SCO was used to amplitude-modulate its associated beacon transmitter for transmission of the telemetry data to the
interrogating ground station. The telemetered parameters and their assigned telemetry channels are given in Table Vl-1. At the ground station, the beacon transmissions were received by two R390A receivers connected in polarization-diversity combination. The telemetry data was demodulated by means of a Sanborn Model 150-2800 preamplifier and was recorded on a strip chart by a Sanborn Model 152-100B recorder. Both the satelliteborne and the ground-based components of the subsystem were designed to provide a data accuracy of _+ 5 percent of full scale on the Sanborn recorder. The functioning of the Sanborn recorder at the ground station was checked once each day. An audio oscillator was used to generate frequencies corresponding to those produced by the SCO for input voltages over the range from -2.5 to +2.5 volts in 0.5-volt increments. The results of these daily calibration checks were reported to the TIROS Technical Control Center and to AED. In addition, each channel was calibrated at 1300 and 1200 cps before each satellite pass. The calibration marks thereby obtained were recorded at the beginning of the Sanborn recording for that pass. Compensation for the slight frequency drift caused by aging of components and variations in temperature and operating voltages was afforded by a calibration system built into the satellite. The first 6 of the 39 data-sampling points in the telemetry readout were calibration points whose voltages were determined prior to launch. At the start of each telemetry transmission, the six known voltages were applied to the input of the SCO. The actual deflections of the first 6 telemetry points were then plotted against the deflections obtained during prelaunch measurements to provide calibration curves for interpreting the remaining 33 points. The calibrated voltage values for the first six telemetry points are given in Table VI-2. The basic, six-step, on-board calibration circuit used on TIROS V, incorporating a Zener-diode voltage regulator and a low-re si stance voltage divider, was also used in TIROS VI. This circuit again provided consistent calibration data. Immediately after the completion of each telemetry transmission, a second calibration of the ground station equipment was performed to check the response of the telemetry-recording system. After this calibration was completed, a standard overlay chart was placed over the recorder strip chart to locate any extreme or unusual indications. Each beacon-disabling, 1-year timer aboard the TIROS VI satellite contained two normally closed microswitches which were inserted in series with the powersupply lead to each beacon transmitter. For greater reliability, two timers were installed in the spacecraft, with one microswitch from each connected in series in each power lead so that operation of either timer would disable both beacon transmitters. In each unit, the timing mechanism, a battery-operated,
TABLE VI 1.
TELEMETERED PARAMETERS OF THE TIROS VI SATELLITE
Telemetry Switch Position No.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 1'9 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
(136.23 Mc Beacon Channel B) Calibration: Zero Volts Calibration: 0.5 Volt Calibration: 1.0 Volt Calibration: 1.5 Volts Calibration: 2.0 Volts Calibration : 2.5 Volts "X" String Battery Output: "Y" String Battery Output: "Z" String Battery Output: Main Load Bus 28 Volts 28 Volts 28 Volts 28 Volts
(136.92 Mc Beacon Channel A) Calibration: Zero Volts Calibration: 0.5 Volt С alib ration : 1 . 0 Volt Calibration: 1.5 Volts Calibration: 2.0 Volts Calibration: 2. 5 Volts "X" String Battery Output: "Y" String Battery Output: "Z" String Battery Output: Main Load Bus: 28 Volts Regulated 24.5 Regulated 24.5 Regulated 13.0 Regulated 13.0 TV Xmtr Power 28 Volts 28 Volts 28 Volts
Regulated 24.5 Volts, System No. 1 Regulated 24.5 Volts, System No. 2 Regulated 13.0 Volts, System No. 1 Regulated 13.0 Volts, System No. 2 Vertical Sync Pulse, Clock No. 2 Horizontal Sync Pulse, Clock No. 2** Vertical Sync Pulse, Clock No. 1 Horizontal Sync Pulse, Clock No. 1** Vidicon High Voltage, Systems 1 and 2 Temperature t , Base at 300° location Fil. and Focus Current, Vidicon No. 1 Fil. and Focus Current, Vidicon No. 2 "Home" Position of Rocket Switch Temperature*, Inner Top Skin at 3" radius Temperature*, Inner Top Skin at 12" radius Solar Cell Array Output Voltage Temperature t , Base at 300° location 500 cps Converter for Tape Recorder No. 1 500 cps Converter for Tape Recorder No. 2 Temperature*, Side Panel No. 2 Temperature*, Solar Cells at 3" radius TV Xmtr Power Converters, Systems 1 and 2 Temperature*, Base at 300° location TV Xmtr Drive Voltage, Systems 1 and 2 Temperature, TV Camera No. 2 Temperature t , TV Xmtr No. 1 Temperature t , Beacon Xmtr No. 2 Temperature f , Clock No. 2 Temperature J , Battery Package "Home" Position 30to+100°C
Volts, System No. 1 Volts, System No. 2 Volts, System No. 1 Volts, System No. 2 Converters, Systems 1 and 2
Temperature t , Base at 300° location TV Xmtr Drive Voltage, Systems 1 and 2 Temperature t , Base at 300° location Vidicon High Voltage, Systems 1 and 2 Temperature*, Base at 300° location Fil. and Focus Current, Vidicon No. 1 Fil. and Focus Current, Vidicon No. 2 "Home" Position of Rocket Switch Solar Cell Array Output Voltage Temperature t , TV Camera No. 2 Temperature t , TV Xmtr No. 1 Temperature t , Beacon Xmtr No. 2 500 cps Converter for Tape Recorder No. 1 500 cps Converter for Tape Recorder No. 2 Temperature t , Clock No. 2 Temperature t , Battery Package Vertical Sync Pulse, Clock No. 2 Horizontal Sync Pulse, Clock No. 2** Vertical Sync Pulse, Clock No. 1 Horizontal Sync Pulse, Clock No. 1** Temperature*, Inner Top Skin, at 3" radius Temperature*, Inner Top Skin, at 12" radius Temperature*, Side Panel No. 2 Temperature*, Solar Cells, at 3" radius "Home" Position t Temperature Sensor Range: 20 to +10°C
* Temperature Sensor Range:
) Temperature Sensor Range: 0° to +40°C
** Only the horizontal sync pulses of the system in operation are telemetered
TABLE VT 2.
TIROS VI TELEMETRY CALIBRATION VOLTAGES 136.23 Mc 136.92 Mc
Telemetry Switch Position
2 3 4 5 6
Beacon (Volts) 0.000 0.503 1.007 1.510
Beacon (Volts) 0.000 0.503 1.007 1.510 2.013
electronically controlled tuning fork, drove a ratchet pawl arrangement which, in turn, drove a switch actuating cam. The timers were set to irrevocably open the beacon power line after approximately 12 months of orbital operation.
В. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
The TIROS VI telemetry and tracking subsystem operated reliably, trans mitting strong tracking signals and providing accurate telemetry data throughout the operational life of the satellite. A typical recording is shown in Figure VI 1. Highly satisfactory performance was obtained from both beacon transmitters throughout this period. Beacon signal strength data taken from pass summaries compiled by the CDA stations for the first several orbits of TIROS VI indicated that the beacon power, at launch, was greater than the 50 mw minimum re quired by specifications. A sampling of pass summaries compiled over the satellite's operational life confirms that this minimum level was continually sur passed, and indicates negligible degradation of the beacon transmitters during more than one year of orbital operation. The telemetry data taken during the TIROS VI passes continued to exhibit the high degree of consistency and correlation obtained from the previous TIROS satellites, thereby establishing a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the data. The consistently good telemetry data can be attributed to the reliability of subsystem performance and also to the continuing improvement of interpreta tion techniques utilized by ground station personnel. The normal reception of telemetered data throughout the operation period of the subsystem gave evidence that the telemetry switches functioned properly and maintained stepping rates within specification. Examination of the telemetry charts verified that all current, voltage, and temperature sensors functioned properly, and that the calibrated voltage points adhered closely to the values measured before launch. Proper operation of the beacon subcarrier oscilla tors was verified by the quality of the telemetry data received.
Figure W - 7 . Typical TIROS VI Telemetry Readout
On occasion, when an emergency-telemetry readout was commanded by the CDA ground stations, the readout did not occur. However, since this occurred only sporadically, and since the subsystem responded properly at all times when direct-picture or tape-playback operation was commanded, the possibility of a malfunction within the telemetry and tracking subsystem is very slight. A survey of emergency-telemetry responses indicated, rather, that the problem more likely lay within the instrumentation control subsystem. (An analysis of this area is presented in Section V of this report.) On September 14, 1963, just four days before the completion of one year of orbital operation, the 1-year timers successfully turned both beacon transmitters off. This date was well within the design specification of 360 days + 10 percent. Beacon turn-off was confirmed by both CDA stations and by all reporting stations of the Minitrack Network. However, satellite tracking was continued using data from the ephemerides, permitting the acquisition of cloud-cover data to continue for the operating life of the TV picture subsystem.
R E F E R E N C E - I N D I C A T OR S U B S Y S T E M S
The reference-indicator subsystems comprised the north-indicator subsystem and the attitude-indicator subsystem. These two subsystems are considered collectively because they both supplied data required for identifying cloud-picture orientation. The north-indicator subsystem, consisting of nine solar-cell sensors and associated electronics, provided data from which the north direction of each TV picture could be determined. The attitude-indicator subsystem, consisting of an IR sensor (horizon scanner) and associated electronics, provided data from which the attitude of the satellite's spin axis could be determined.
B. 1. FUNCTION Attitude-Indicator Subsystem
The attitude-indicator subsystem used on TIROS VI was essentially the same as the one used on TIROS V. This subsystem provided data to the ground stations from which the attitude of the satellite's spin axis could be computed. The data was derived from the output of an infrared-sensor unit which scanned the earth and space as the satellite rotated. Heat radiation from the earth caused an electrical output pulse from the sensor during the period in which it scanned the earth. This pulse was differentiated and amplified, and then applied as a modulating signal to the telemetry subcarrier oscillators for transmission by the beacon transmitters to the CDA ground stations. Transmission of the attitude information was continuous except when interrupted for 40 seconds at the beginning of each interrogation for the sending of the telemetry data. The attitude-indicator subsystem consisted basically of a narrow-field, infraredsensing bolometer and an amplifying and differentiating circuit (intermediate electronics). The sensor had a 1. 6- by 1.6-degree field of view, and it was mounted with its optical axis at an angle of 2,0 degrees with respect to the top of the baseplate of the satellite. The sensor had a time constant of 2.0 milli-, seconds, and a spectral response between 7 and 30 microns which fell off sharply at wave-lengths shorter than 7 microns. The spectral response and time constant
were chosen so that uniform and accurate response occurred whenever the fieldof-view included the earth; the sensor was oriented in such a manner that during the operating period it would never view the sun directly if attitude variations were limited to those predicted. Although no damage would result if the sensor were directly exposed to the sun, such an exposure would produce a spurious output. Varying illumination and reflectivity on the surface of the earth would also generate spurious signals, because the reflected radiation is principally in the wave-bands to which the sensor responded; however, these signals were cancelled at the ground stations by a time-discrimination process utilizing specially designed inhibit circuits. The electrical output of the sensor is a trapezoidal wave. In order to avoid stability problems with either low-frequency or d-c amplifiers, and in order to eliminate drift caused by changing ambient temperature, the wave was differentiated and amplified by the intermediate electronics before being transmitted from the satellite. At the ground station, the attitude data was fed to the attitude-pulse selector. The attitude-pulse selector separated the valid leading and trailing edges of the earth-scan pulse from spurious amplitude changes caused when cloud transitions were scanned. Subsequently, the leading edge of a valid pulse was developed into a pulse representing a sky-earth transition and the trailing edge of a valid pulse was developed into a pulse representing an earth-sky transition. These two pulses were then applied to a digital time-measuring device to measure the interval between the sky-earth transition and the following earth-sky transition. The measured time interval was recorded by punching a paper tape in a standard teletype format. The data thus recorded was later processed to determine the nadir angle of the satellite's spin axis corresponding to the earth-scan interval.
2. North-Indicator Subsystem
The north-indicator subsystem provided electrical data for the determination of the satellite's orientation angle (i.e. , the angle in the plane of the satellite baseplate between a zero-reference radial of the satellite and the bearing of the sun at the beginning of each picture) and thereby, the orientation of the transmitted TV picture. This data was transmitted to the ground stations by the TV transmitters. The satellite orientation data was used in conjunction with data from the ephemerides to determine the north direction of the pictures transmitted from the satellite. The nine sun-angle sensor units formed the first link in the data chain that provided data from which the north-direction information of each TV picture could be determined. Each sensor unit consisted of a solar cell with its sensitive
surface mounted parallel to the spin axis behind a slit-type aperture in a special housing. The units were radially mounted, 40 degrees apart, around the vertical walls of the satellite housing. As the satellite rotated, the slits swept across the direct rays of the sun, causing the sensor cells to generate sun-triggered pulses. These pulses triggered coded multivibrators located in the sun-sensor electronics package. Because of the sensor spacing and because of the 8- to 12-rpm spin rate, two of these coded pulses occurred during each 2-second picture read-out. The coding of the multivibrator output pulses was sequenced in such a way that any two consecutive pulses uniquely defined a sun-sensor location. These pulses were amplified, shaped in the sun-sensor electronics package, and applied to the tape-recorder electronics. In the tape-recorder electronics, the pulses were used to key a 10-kc subcarrier oscillator to provide 10-kc tone bursts with durations equal to those of the input pulses. If pictures were being taken in the remote rmxie (i.e., while the satellite was beyond the range of a ground station), the tone bursts were recorded by the tape recorder, along with the corresponding video information, and were stored until the satellite was commanded to play back. The tone bursts (along with the video information) were then "read back" into the electronics where they were detected and again used to key the 10-kc subcarrier oscillator to ensure an exact 10-kc subcarrier frequency. The output of the oscillator was modulated on the TV carrier for transmission to the ground. When a sequence of direct pictures was being taken, the tone bursts bypassed the tape recorder and were combined with the camera video subcarrier for direct transmission to the ground. At the CDA ground station the sun-angle information was separated from the video signal by a bandpass filter. The tone bursts were then detected and applied to the sun-angle computer. The computer identified the particular baseplatereferenced sun sensor associated with the coded sun pulses. It then related the occurrence times of these pulses to the initiation of the video subcarrier, and computed the sun angle. The computed sun-angle data were displayed visually in binary form, on the panel framing the kinescope, and were photographed along with the video display. The north direction was then determined from the sun angle data appearing on the photograph and the orbital data corresponding to the time the TV picture was taken. The basic requirements and the initial development and design of the sun-sensor electronics are described in the TIROS I final report.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION Attitude Indicator Subsystem
The attitude indicator subsystem performed satisfactorily throughout the satellite's operational life. A sample of the attitude indicator data returned by TIROS VI is shown in Figure VII 1. Although the satellite did not reach attitudes at which sunlight could fall directly on the infrared sensing element in the horizon scanner, there were times when direct sunlight fell on the lens assembly, causing lens "flaring" and allowing some refracted energy to reach the sensor. This same problem had existed on the TIROS V satellite. As in the case of TIROS V attitude indicator performance, whenever the sun angle (angle between the satellite spin axis and the sun's rays) approached 45 degrees, sun pulses occurred frequently; however, these sun pulses did not interfere with identifica tion of the genuine horizon pulses. The increased susceptibility of the attitude indicators on TIROS V and TIROS VI to sun pulses is attributable to the reposi tioning of the optical axis of the horizon scanner to make an angle of 20 degrees with the baseplate, as specified by NASA/GSFC. By maintaining the sun angle below 65 degrees, this problem was prevented from becoming troublesome in the interpretation of the attitude indicator data.
2. North Indicator Subsystem
The north indicator subsystem performed normally with one exception. The sun sensor located at the 100 degree baseplate radial consistently produced its output at a time when that radial was removed by 10 degrees from a true alignment with the sun's rays. The normal spacing between all sensors is 40 degrees. Thus the output pulse of the 100 degree sensor occurred when the satellite had rotated approximately 30 degrees beyond the point at which the out put of the 60 degree sensor occurred. As on the previous TIROS satellites, each sun sensor consisted of a 1 x 2 centi meter solar cell, one half of which had been de activated by scribing a line length wise down the cell to break the sensitive layer. The scribed line was positioned behind a slot in the satellite hat, as shown in Figure VII 2, so that, as the satellite rotated, an output would be produced at the instant when the slot and the edge of the active half of the cell became aligned with the sun's rays. As can be seen in Figure VII 2, under normal conditions the baseplate radial must reach a true alignment with the sun's rays before the active half of the sen sor will receive the rays through the aperture plate. However, if the line scribed on the 100 degree sensor failed to cause a complete electrical separa tion between the halves of the cell, the output would occur when the sun's rays were first incident on the half of the cell that would normally be inactive. (See
APERTURE PLATE DIRECTION OF SUN'S RAYS AT PREMATURE READOUT
ROTATION I OF SATELLITE I
BASEPLATE RADIAL DIRECTION OF SUN S RAYS AT NORMAL READOUT
Figure VII 2.
Horth Indicator Sun Sensor, Showing How an Incompletely Scribed Sensor Could Result in a 10 degree Error in Indicated Sun Direction
Figure VII 2.) The angle subtended by one half of the sensor at the aperture is approximately 10 degrees, and the resulting error in the output would there fore be 10 degrees.
VIII. SATELLITE DYNAMICS CONTROL
The four devices used on the TIROS VI satellite to provide dynamics control were essentially the same as had been used on the previous TIROS satellites. These devices were: (1) A "Yo-Yo" de-spin mechanism; (2) Spin-up rockets; (3) A tuned energy-absorbing mass called the TEAM precession-damping mechanism; and (4) A magnetic attitude-control device.
B. 1. DE-SPIN MECHANISM Function
The de-spin mechanism was designed to rapidly reduce the spin rate (nominally 125 rpm) imparted to the satellite by the third-stage rocket to a nominal operational value of 8 to 12 rpm. (This range of values is greater than the minimum required for satellite stability and less than that at which the satellite's spin affects TV resolution.) A "Yo-Yo" mechanism of essentially the same design as had been used successfully on TIROS I through V was used on TIROS VI to achieve the spin reduction. This mechanism consisted of a pair of weights attached to the ends of light steel cables, the other ends of which were engaged at diametrically opposite points on the satellite's circumference by means of simple hook-and-eye release devices. From these points, the cables were wrapped around the periphery of the satellite just above the baseplate; the weights were attached to the satellite by explosive release mechanisms. Operation of the release mechanisms was initiated automatically at separation of the satellite from the third-stage rocket. A back-up means for actuating the mechanism by ground command was also provided.
When the weights were released from the body of the spinning satellite, they tended to move tangentially away from its surface, restrained only by the ten sion in the cables. As the weights moved outward, the cables unwrapped until, when extended to their full lengths, they were released from the satellite by the disengaging of the hook and eye devices. The temporary increase in the satel lite's moment of inertia as the weights moved away from the spin axis caused the reduction in spin rate. (The satellite's angular velocity decreased as its moment of inertia increased. The release of the weights and cables after the de spin restored the moment of inertia to approximately the initial value.) During the calibration phase of the test program, the spacecraft's moment of inertia was measured and the de spin weights and cable lengths necessary to achieve the desired final spin rate were calculated. These calculations were based on a nominal initial spin rate of 125 rpm. The weights and cable lengths are designed to provide a de spin ratio of 0.079 in order to yield a final spin rate of 10 rpm. The design final spin rate of 10 rpm provides equal margins between the lower operational limit of 8 rpm imposed by the requirement for spin stability of the satellite and the upper limit of 12 rpm, above which smear due to motion of the TV cameras affects picture resolution.
The separation of the spacecraft from the third stage rocket was normal. The de spin mechanism activated automatically approximately 4 minutes after separation. However, the spin imparted to the satellite by the third stage rocket was below the specified range of 136 to 116 rpm and was only 99 rpm. The final spin rate was 7.1 rpm. Based on these measured values, the de spin ratio was 0.072, as compared with the theoretical value of 0. 079 which would have resulted in a de spin speed of 7. 82 rpm. The difference between the actual and the calculated ratios must be attributed to a combination of several factors. These include the accuracy of measuring the initial and final spin rates of the satellite; the accuracy of measuring the moment of inertia of the spacecraft; the tolerance in the cable lengths; and the tolerance in the distance of the de spin weights from the spin axis. Of these, the accuracy of the moment of inertia measurement is thought to have been the major source of error. The measuring apparatus has a calculated accuracy of 0.5 percent. Compensation for an error of this magnitude could result in a theoretical de spin ratio of 0.076. Even though there is a limitation on the accuracy of the moment of inertia measurement, and thus on the calculated de spin ratio, nevertheless the
present practice of designing for a final spin rate of 10 rpm ensures an adequate margin of safety between the maximum operational spin rate and the calculated final spin rate. An error as large as one percent in the moment of inertia measurement would produce a "high side" de spin ratio of 0. 0845, corresponding to a final spin rate of 10. 7 rpm from a nominal initial spin rate of 125 rpm.
SPIN UP ROCKETS
The satellite's spin rate was gradually reduced in orbit because eddy cur rents induced in current conducting parts of the satellite as the result of its passage through the earth's magnetic field produced fields which opposed the inducing field. In order to maintain a spin rate above 8 rpm, (the minimum spin required for stability) the satellite was equipped with spin up rockets which were fired in pairs by ground command. As on the previous TIROS satellites, TIROS VI was equipped with five pairs of spin up rockets, the two rockets in each pair being located diametrically opposite each other. The rockets were designed to produce an increase in spin rate of approximately 3.5 rpm as the result of the firing of each pair. The theoretical spin up has been different for each satellite because of different moments of inertia. 2. Performance Evaluation
* The spin up history of TIROS VI is given in Table Vm 1.
TABLE УП1 1. TIROS VI SPIN UP DATA Spin Rate Before Spin Up (rpm)
(Orbit) September 21, 1962 (33) April 4, 1962
Spin Rate After Spin Up (rpm)
Increase in Spin Rate (Дгрт)
3.56 3.415 1.751
September 14, 1963 (5283)
*Two additional spin ups were performed after the end of the operational period. Data for these spin ups are given in Appendix A.
The first two spin ups of TIROS VI produced normal increases in spin rate. The third spin up, which took place during orbit 5283, when the satellite had been in orbit for four days less than one year, produced an increase of only 1.751 rpm. This abnormal performance was investigated using the spin data and satellite attitude data to calculate the motion of the satellite about a transverse axis as well as about the spin axis. Past analyses have shown that a normal spin up is accompanied by a small increase in the nutation (wobble) of the spin axis. This nutation is rapidly damped by the precession damping mechanism. The possible abnormalities which might result in a low spin up, namely, failure of one rocket to fire, non synchronous firing of the rockets, or low impulse of one or both rockets, could all be expected to produce a greater than normal nutation. As a means of investigating the low spin increase, the nutation angles just before, just after, and three hours after the third spin up on orbit 5283 were calculated, using the formula: ,~\ wtanTAT (57.3) /_ /у \ max 1/2 nutation angle (-£- = —0 . . . <TJ, ,ч ; \2 / 2 (SHITT) (K^) where w is the average spin rate over the orbit, 7 is the sun angle, ДТ
is the maximum deviation in time between revolutions, and i (moment of inertia about spin axis) — i (moment of inertia about transverse axis)
K<A equals 1
For TIROS VI, the measured moments of inertia (with the yo yo device removed) are: i i
= 151.20 in = 108.66 in
о Ib sec , and 2 Ib sec .
0.392 (The minus sign indicates the direction of nutation.)
In the 17 revolutions before the spin up on orbit 5286, the nutation angle was: _0 _ 2 " 0.8777)(tan 40.8°)(0.046)(57.3) 2(sin7r 0.392) (0. 8777)(0. 863)(0. 046)(57.3) 2 (0.942) ' ' = 1.055 degrees.
A period of 22 revolutions immediately following the spin up yielded the following nutation angle: 6 2 (1.0637)(tan40.8°)(0.203)(57.3) 2(sin 0.392 тг ) (1. 0637)(0. 863)(0. 203)(57.3) 2 (0.942) = 5.66 degrees.
Three hours after the spin up, a period of 12 revolutions yielded the following nutation angle. О Y" (1. Q637)(tan 41. 2°)(0.027)(57. 3) 2(sin 0.392 тг) " ' (1.0637)(0.875)(0.027)(57.3) 2(0.942) 0.764 degree. The large increase in nutation angle at the time of spin up is also confirmed by the satellite picture center points marked on a picture from orbit 5286. This picture, shown in Figure VIII 1, indicates the wobble of the satellite by the de parture of the locus of picture centers from a smooth curve on the earth's sur face. Both the spin period measurements and the picture center plot gave evidence that an unbalanced torque had been applied to the satellite at the time of spin up and strongly suggests one of the aforementioned causes. The possi bility of the satellite being struck by a foreign object seems extremely remote and, therefore, it appears most likely that one rocket failed to fire.
Figure VIII-1. Pieture-Center Points on Orbit 5286. Satellite Spin-Up Took Place Just Before Frame 72.
However, since earlier spin-ups had produced the correct increase in spin rate, it is possible that the problem resulted from a reduction in the effectiveness of spin-up rockets after a year's exposure to the space environment. A second problem was also encountered involving the spin-up rockets. During TIROS VT operation, two instances of abnormal operation of the spin-up rocket switch occurred. The first took place on orbit 033 when spin-up was first commanded. Normally the spin-up rocket switch must be stepped three positions to cause the firing of the first pair of rockets. Thereafter a pair of rockets should be fired each time the switch is advanced one position. On orbit 033 the spin rate increased immediately after the switch left the home (starting) position. On orbit 2895, the first spin-up command to the satellite stepped the switch to position 2 but produced no increase in spin rate. The second command stepped the switch to position 3, whereupon the spin rate did increase. The history of testing of the rocket switch was investigated and it was found that the final check was made on September 7, 1962, just 11 days before TIROS VI was launched. A current of 0.5 milliampere was measured at each position (1 through 7) of the switch. A previous check on August 29, 1962 had yielded the same result and the record was annotated to indicate that the rocket pairing associated with each switch position had been checked and found normal. No further information can be obtained, and thus no explanation of this abnormal firing sequence has been possible. *The first two positions normally provide back-up initiation of the Yo-Yo de-spin mechanism and of the TEAM precession damper, if either of these devices should fail to operate automatically.
PRECESSION DAMPING DEVICE
The precession damping device was designed to reduce the nutation or "wobble" of the satellite's spin axis to a small value soon after separation of the satellite from the third stage rocket and after any other perturbation of the spin axis such as might be caused by firing of spin up rockets. The device was a tuned energy absorbing mechanism which converted the energy of nutation into heat. Nutation of the satellite forced the movement of small weights back and forth along slightly curved monorails mounted with their chords parallel to the spin axis. The friction between the weights and the rails dissipated the energy as the weights traveled first in one direction and then in the other.
The performance of the TEAM mechanism on TIROS VI was excellent. The half angle of nutation on orbit 001 was determined from attitude data transmitted from the satellite using the following formula: wan __
2 ( sinjr)(Ki/>)
For orbit 001, the satellite spin rate (to) was 0.734 radian per second; the dif ference between the largest spin period and the smallest spin period ( Д Т ), in the data considered, was 0.046 second; and the sun angle (y) was 32.4 degrees. Thus,
6 _ (0. 734)(0. 634)(0. 046)(57. 3) 2 " 2 (0.942)
= 0.65 degree. This very small value of the nutation angle during orbit 001 indicates that the precession damping mechanism performed extremely well. Later confirmation of this fact was obtained in examining the spin data for orbit 5283 in an investi gation of the low spin increase that resulted from the spin up during that orbit. *The terms of this equation are defined earlier in this section and the value of sin я (K^) is calculated to be 0.982.
As the apparent result of an unbalanced torque produced by this spin-up, the halfangle of nutation increased from 1.045 degrees before spin-up to 5.60 degrees after spin-up. The next spin data available, from orbit 5288, yielded a halfangle of nutation of 0.756 degree. Thus, this large nutation was reduced to less than one degree in fewer than five orbits. Although the actual time required to reduce the nutation from 5. 60 degrees to less than 1 degree could not be determined, it is believed that this reduction took place rapidly, as did the reduction of the nutation angle following de-spin on orbit 001.
E. 1. ATTITUDE PREDICTION, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL Function
A coordinated system of attitude prediction, measurement and control was used to ensure that the TIROS VI satellite would produce a high percentage of meteorologically useful pictures and that the most effective use would be made of energy available for operation of the satellite's subsystems. Attitude in orbit was of importance to the operational performance of the TIROS VI satellite because its two TV cameras were mounted rigidly on the satellite baseplate and because the solar-cells from which it derived the energy required to sustain operation were rigidly affixed to the side and top surfaces of the satellite. Thus satellite attitude determined the picture coverage of each orbit and, by determining the angle and extent of illumination of the solar cells, it determined the amount of energy to be used during each orbit to prevent either overexpenditure of electrical energy or overcharging of the storage batteries. It was therefore essential that accurate predictions of satellite attitude be available. Further, it was desirable that some means of attitude control be provided, so that an optimum compromise could be achieved to provide good picture geometry, sufficient illumination of the picture area, and adequate input to the solar-cell array. The TIROS predictions were made using a digital computer and a computer program that took into account the orbital mechanics of the spinning satellite, the effects of differential earth gravity, and the effects of the earth's magnetic field. Other factors which exerted external forces on an earth satellite were considered to be either negligible at the TIROS altitude (viscous drag of the atmosphere, bombardment by subatomic particles, and radiation pressure) or infrequent and unpredictable (bombardment by meteorites). The satellite's spin provided a degree of gyroscopic stabilization that tended to keep the direction of the spin axis fixed in space. However, two forces, differential gravity and earth magnetism, are of sufficient magnitude to cause attitude changes. The effect of differential gravity arose from the non-spherical mass distribution of the satellite and was, in general, very small compared with the effect of the earth's magnetism on the satellite. The magnetic effect resulted from the use of magnetic materials in the satellite's construction and from
electrical currents that flowed in the wires and assemblies of the satellite. The satellite thus possessed a magnetic dipole which, in its passage around the earth, tended to align itself with the earth's magnetic field. The strength of this dipole was different in each mode of satellite operation. However, these differences were of little significance, because the satellite's operational modes were in use for only a few minutes of the 100-minute orbits. A significant difference did exist between day-time and night-time dipole moments. This difference resulted mainly from the difference in direction of current flow in the satellite when the batteries were being charged (daytime) and discharged (night-time). Therefore, the important values of dipole moment were the day-time and nighttime residual dipole moments, i. e., the values in the standby mode of operation. These values were measured using special equipment during the test and calibration phase of the TIROS VI program and were constantly re-evaluated while the satellite was in orbit. The need for re-evaluation was the result of stateof-the-art limitations in making the initial measurements and also of an apparent change in the residual dipole as the satellite aged. The interaction between the magnetism of the earth and that of the satellite was used to obtain ground control over satellite attitude. A device consisting of a rotary stepping switch and a coil of wire wrapped around the perimeter of the satellite provided the control. The switch (magnetic attitude control or MAC switch), was operated by ground command and controlled the magnitude and direction of current flow in the coil, thereby producing a different magnetic dipole in each switch position. The MAC switch was used to cause attitude changes of as much as 15 degrees per day. Chronologically, the attitude program began with the measurements of the dipole moments of the spacecraft (including calibration of the MAC switch) and the computation of the initial 90-day pre-launch predictions of satellite attitude. In the course of the dipole moment measurements, permanent trimmer magnets were added to the spacecraft to reduce the residual dipole moments to very small values. These values were recorded and used, together with the planned time of launch, to compute the initial predictions. A program of MAC switch operation was also prepared to yield an optimum spin-axis path during the early orbits. However, no changes in settings of the MAC switch were programmed for the first several hundred orbits, so that the only dipole moments acting on the satellite during this period were the daytime and night-time residual dipole moments. The accuracy of the measured dipole moments were evaluated by comparing the predictions with the observed attitude. Trail computations were made until the exact values of the dipole moments that accounted for the observed motion were determined. The accuracy of these re-evaluations is apparent from the fact that the predictions based on the new values remained valid over several thousand of orbits. After the satellite had been placed in orbit, its attitude, in terms of the celestial coordinates of the normal point of the spin axis, was determined for each orbit. The principle method for attitude determination was the Fujita method, which VHI-9
made use of the known geometrical relationship of the picture center, the satel lite's nadir angle, and the earth's horizon to derive the normal point from graph ical analysis of the TV pictures. When a change in satellite attitude was desired, to improve the sun angle, the picture geometry, or the scene illumination, the change in dipole moment that would produce the attitude change was computed and the magnetic attitude control switch was programmed accordingly. If a persistent discrepancy appeared between the predicted and observed data, the data was carefully evaluated to determine the possible source of the discrepancy and the best method for restoring agreement. If the discrepancy was constant, a simple shift in data usually restored agreement. If the discrepancy increased on each orbit, the values of the magnetic dipole moments used in the computer pro gram were reevaluated to find new values that would restore the accuracy of the predictions. This program of attitude prediction, measurement and control has been used with increasing effectiveness on all of the TIROS satellites beginning with TIROS II. Improvements in the computer program and in the methods of deter mining satellite attitude in orbit have contributed to this increased effectiveness. The fundamental validity of the program is apparent from the fact that even though the satellite operational lives have grown progressively longer, the pro gram has continued to provide highly accurate attitude predictions.
2. Performance Evaluation
Figure VIII 2 (right ascension), and Figure Vin 3, (declination), give the day averaged predicted and measured coordinates of the spin axis normal point over the entire period of TIROS VI operation. The good accuracy of the predic tions and the effectiveness of the magnetic attitude control are apparent from an examination of the curves. The initial attitude predictions for the TIROS VI satellite were made using the same computer program used for the TIROS V satellite. Beginning with orbit 1291, the predictions were made using a higher speed computer and a more versatile computer program in order to gain several advantages of the shorter integration intervals possible with the new computer. The new computer approach is to calculate, first, the instantaneous orbital position of the satellite; then, to select the instantaneous value of the earth's magnetic field, previously calculated, which corresponds to the satellite's position; and finally to calculate the torque applied to the satellite, using the magnetic dipole moment of the satellite and the value of the earth's field, in ac cordance with the formula:
Т = Mxb
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where Т is the torque applied to the satellite, M is the dipole moment of the satellite, and b is the instantaneous value of the earth's magnetic field. From T, the direction and rate of movement of the satellite are calculated and the new position is predicted. In the program used at present, the earth's magnetic field is represented by a dipole model centered on the earth's geographic poles. That this simplification provides sufficient accuracy is apparent from the small number of shifts in computer data required over the lifetime of the satellite. In 5653 orbits, only five shifts in the data were required. The integration interval used in computing the predictions with the new computer program is variable. For TIROS VI, this interval was approximately 10 minutes (0.1 orbit). When predicted data was under close scrutiny to evaluate the resid ual dipole moment, an integration interval of one minute was used. This very small interval provided higher accuracy and made evident any small changes in the magnetic field surrounding the satellite. In order to obtain the best fit of the predicted to the observed data, it was neces sary to displace (shift) the initial declination of the normal point by approximately one degree. This procedure assumed a displacement of one degree in the observed data. It has been determined from the method of data reduction used that this as sumption was valid. (The validity of this change is further borne out by the ex tremely long period over which the revised value provided accurate predictions). After 2311 orbits (approximately six months), the need for re evaluating the residual dipole moment became apparent. The need for the change was evidenced by a continuing difference between the rate of change of the observed data and the rate of change of the predicted data. The new values, arrived at in the same manner as the initial values, were 0.2831 ampere turns meters^ (in sunlight) and 0.2170 ampere turns meters^ (in darkness). Not until orbit 4120 (June 27, 1963, approximately nine and one half months in orbit) were further changes in the values of the residual dipole moment re quired. The new values were 0.1980 ampere turns meters^ (in sunlight) and 0.1320 ampere turns meters (in darkness). These values were effective for the remainder of the satellite's operating life.
Even though the need for changes in the values of the residual dipole moments is rare, a question nevertheless arises concerning the cause or causes of these changes. The changes could be artificial, being inherent in the computer program, or could be actual changes in the dipole moment of the satellite, as the result of changes in satellite operation or long-term exposure to the space environment. Since the computer program is periodically updated with current orbital elements, the source of the change does not seem to be in the computer program. If the change is actual, it does not seem to be associated with changes in satellite operation which are readily determined by means of telemetry data. Thus, it appears that a change occurs in the dipole moment as the result of longterm exposure of the satellite to the space environment or that some other force is exerted on the satellite that is not accounted for in the computer program. Recent studies have indicated the possibility that solar radiation pressure could, over extended periods, have a measureable effect on satellite attitude. Another possibility, also under current investigation in connection with another program, is that long-term exposure to the radiations present at the satellite altitude may alter the magnetism of the satellite. Previous to TIROS V, the evaluation of attitude had not extended beyond 90 days (1300 orbits), and thus this change, which has occurred at intervals of about 2,000 orbits on TIROS VI, could not be expected to be noticeable in the earlier data. The TIROS V data was evaluated for the full 4731 orbits of satellite operating life; after 1921 orbits, the apparent change in dipole moment became evident. Table VTfI-2 lists the changes made in the computer program during the life of the satellite. Only five shifts in the data, from predicted to observed, were required over the entire period. The changes in the settings of the magnetic attitude-control switch throughout satellite operating life are shown in Figures Vm-2 and VHI-3, at the tops of the charts.
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The satellite antennas provided the means for the reception of command signals from the CDA ground stations and for the simultaneous radiation of energy from three separate transmitters (two beacon and either one of two TV). A network was provided for coupling and matching the receivers and transmitters to the antennas and for isolating the three active transmitters and the two command receivers. The CDA ground station antennas provided for the reception of the TV and beacon signals from the satellite and for the transmission of command signals to the satellite. The antennas and the satellite matching and coupling network were basically the same as those used for TIROS V.
2. Satellite Antennas
The command receivers of the satellite utilized a simple dipole receiving antenna consisting of a single vertical "whip". The beacon and TV transmitters shared two crossed-dipole antennas (two frequencies) by means of a coupling and matching network which coupled the four antenna segments to achieve a circularly polarized output. An RF relay switching network was employed to connect the output from one of the TV transmitters to the matching and coupling network. The beacon transmitters were permanently connected to the network. The matching and coupling network for the transmitting antennas provided: (1) coupling of at least two transmitters in each frequency band to the radiating elements with a minimum of feedback between transmitters, (2) sufficient isolation to prevent interaction between transmitters operating in different frequency bands, and
(3) division of energy from each transmitter into four branches so that the currents were of equal magnitude in all branches and were properly phased to produce circular polarization.
Ground Station Antennas
Signals from the TIROS VI satellite were received by a 60 foot parabolic antenna at the PMR ground station. The Wallops Island ground station was equipped with two antennas. A General Bronze swept volume efficiency an tenna, having a gain of 29 db and similar in design to the antenna at the AED station, was used to receive the TV signals in the 235 Mc region and a crossed helix antenna was used for receiving the 136 Mc beacon signals. The command antenna at Wallops Island was located on the same mount as the 136 Mc antenna. At the PMR station the command antenna was mounted on the upper rim of the 60 foot antenna. The Alaska station, which began operations in September, 1963, made use of a Blaw Knox 85 foot parabolic dish antenna on an X Y mount. Dipole elements for 136 Mc and 235 Mc were located at the focal point of the dish. The antennas at all three stations were capable of manual or automatic tracking of the satellite. B. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
Performance of the satellite antennas in all frequency ranges was normal in every respect throughout the operational life of the satellite. Satisfactory signal strengths from the satellite transmitters were reported by both CDA sta tions and by the AED back up station, indicating that performance of the trans mitting antennas and the antenna matching and coupling network was normal. The consistently good response of the satellite to ground commands gave evidence of satisfactory performance of the command receiving antenna. Since no difficulties were encountered, no detailed evaluations of the satellite antennas were conducted. The consistently high signal levels received by the ground stations and the absence of signal fading indicated that the satellite transmitting antenna pattern was free of nulls and that the ground station re ceiving antennas performed normally. Occasional wearout of parts caused temporary loss of the automatic tracking capability of the ground station an tennas, but these problems were quickly remedied. More details concerning op eration of the ground station antennas are given in the accounts of operation of the individual ground stations, in Section ХП of this report.
X. ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY SUBSYSTEM
Electrical power for all of the requirements of the TIROS VI satellite was supplied by a solar-energy converter and a group of 63 nickel-cadmium storage batteries. The solar-energy converter consisted of an array of 9120 silicon solar cells, mounted on the top and sides of the satellite structure. During orbital day, when the solar cells were illuminated, the output of the array was used as the satellite's primary power source; any excess power (power not needed by the satellite electronics) was used to charge the storage batteries. In cases where peak-power requirements exceeded the power output of the solar cells, the batteries automatically supplied the difference. During orbital night, the storage batteries, which had a total capacity of approximately 11. 7 ampere-hours, supplied all of the power required by the satellite. Precautions were taken to prevent internal circulating currents through the power-source interconnections and to preclude the total loss of power in the event that a short circuit occurred in one of the cells or batteries. The storage batteries were electrically connected in three independent groups, each of which was connected to the solar-cell supply through its own current regulator to prevent an excessive rate of charge. Power in excess of the amount required to maintain the battery charge was diverted through a bypass regulator to the main battery-output bus. During orbital night, when the solar cells were passive, silicon diodes in each series row of solar cells prevented the storage batteries from discharging into the solar cells. A similar function was performed by diodes included in each series row of solar cells located on the lateral surfaces of the satellite. Because of the satellite's rotation, each series row of solar cells on a lateral surface was alternately illuminated and then darkened. The diodes prevented the darkened solar-cell rows from loading the illuminated rows. The storage batteries provided a relatively constant voltage across the solar cells, thereby isolating them from variations in the electrical load. The storage batteries were charged by the solar cells during orbital day and supplied all equipment loads during orbital night. The TIROS VI electrical power supply subsystem was identical to the TIROS V power supply subsystem. One-half of the silicon solar cells were of the "gridded" type, having an efficiency of 9. 25 percent as compared with the 7. 25-percent efficiency of the remaining cells.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION 1. General
Permissible energy expenditures on the TIROS satellites are based on maintaining a balance between the energy converted by the solar array and the energy consumed by satellite operations in the programmed modes. Two sets of data by which this balance, and thus the overall performance of the power supply subsystem, can be judged are given in Figures X l and X 2. Figure X l indicates the capacity of the subsystem for supplying the actual energy needs of the satellite throughout the operational period. On only one day (day 107), did the energy used exceed the calculated energy available. In general, the energy available greatly exceeded the energy used. This was to be expected, since TIROS VI did not carry an IR subsystem, while the power supply capability was the same as that of the previous TIROS satellites. The one occasion on which the energy used exceeded the energy available was the result of special programming that had been initiated in order to expend excess energy and thus to prevent over charging of the batteries. When this situation became evident and the special programming was stopped, the energy balance was quickly restored. Figure X 2 shows the voltage at which the battery delivered power to the satellite's subsystems. During the operational period of TIROS VI, the battery voltage re mained well within the design range of 25. 5 to 32 volts. The actual battery voltage range was 27. 8 volts to 31.1 volts, telemetered during a period of peak power con sumption on the first orbit of each day. The daily average power consumed by the satellite varied from 7. 8 to 16. 6 watts, the minimum figure being the power base required with no programming.
2. Solar Cell Array
The solar cell array provided sufficient battery charging current so that the stored charge was, on all but the one occasion.noted previously, consider ably in excess of the satellite's demands. Except for this one occasion, the energy available remained well above the energy used, and the battery terminal voltage remained well above the design minimum over a period of more than a year. This energy balance could not have existed over a year's period if the solar array had undergone any appreciable degradation. The electronic and photoelectric condition of the solar array can be inferred from a telemetered current flowing in a fixed load connected to a sample group of 60 solar cells. This series connected group of cells is identified as the solar cell "patch". The cells in the patch are identical to those used in the solar array and
CALCULATED ENERGY AVAILABLE
270 280 290 300
D A Y S AFTER LAUNCH Figure X 7 . Calculated Energy Available and A c t u a l Energy Used, versus Days After Launch
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DAYS A F T E R LAUNCH
Figure X 2.
Satellite Battery Voltage After Launch
are arranged in the same five-cell shingle format. However, they are electrically isolated from the power supply and are provided with a load consisting of two 1percent tolerance resistors connected in series to form a voltage divider. The voltage drop across one of the resistors is telemetered. On previous TIROS Satellites (excluding TIROS IV, on which the patch telemetry was absent from the time of launch) the electrical condition of the patch had remained so constant throughout satellite life that the telemetered voltage was used as a direct indication of sun (gamma) angle, on which the amount of solar energy converted to electrical energy is directly dependent. The fact that degradation of the solar-cell patch was negligible on the earlier satellites gives strong indication that degradation of the entire array was negligible. It can be inferred that the array possesses a high degree of immunity to any degrading effects of the orbital environment such as damage from micro-meteorite or chargedparticle bombardment. The solar-cell patch is calibrated and tested during the engineering test phase of the satellite program. A calibration curve is plotted of solar-cell output voltage, across a fixed resistive load, versus temperature, over a range of -5°C to +90°C, using an illumination intensity equivalent to the integrated solar radiation intensity at orbital altitude. In addition, a series of tests is performed to determine solarcell response as a function of the sun angle. (This angle is the angle of incidence on the patch of the rays from the illumination source; it is measured between the direction of the sun's rays and a line normal to the plane of the cells.) The calibration curves so plotted are used during satellite operation to determine daily the solar-cell patch output which should result from given values of sun angle (determined from the TV-picture data) and solar-cell temperature (from telemetry). This value is then compared with the telemetered solar-cell patch output. Any difference between the two values (within the telemetry system tolerance) may be taken as an indication of a change in the patch output and thus a change in solar-cell output. A convenient comparison is given by the ratio Vt/Vc, where Vt is the telemetered value of solar-cell patch output voltage and Vc is the value computed from the calibration curves. A plot of Vt/Vc versus days after launch is given in Figure X-3. Because the calibration curves are based on absolute measurements, the telemetered values should initially be the same as the computed values. Figure X-3 shows that this was true for TIROS VI. The curve of Figure X-3 should be considered for its general trend and for an average over a period of days rather than for any instantaneous values. This is because of telemetry system tolerances and because the value for a given day is from a single orbit rather than an average of a day's orbits. On this basis, the value of Vt/Vc for TIROS VI decreased very slowly with time in orbit. The solar cell array itself did not degrade even this much. This is apparent from the fact that a similar degradation of the solar array would have resulted in the energy used eventually exceeding the energy available, which in turn would result in discharge of the batteries and in a rapid reduction in battery terminal voltage.
The storage battery voltage, plotted in Figure X-2, is the main-bus voltage telemetered on the first orbit of each day. This voltage is from 0. 5 to 1. 0 volt lower than the individual battery-row voltage (normally 29 to 32 volts) because of a voltage drop in the germanium diodes which are used to isolate the battery rows from each other. The telemetry readout takes place at the beginning of TV subsystem operation, when the storage battery is delivering peak current to the load. The highest voltage (31.1 volts) occurred during orbital day 241 when the sun angle and percentage of sun time were such that the solar array was charging the batteries as well as powering the satellite. The lowest voltages occurred during orbital night, when the storage battery was required to meet all of the satellite's power needs. The power supply is designed to maintain a minimum bus voltage of 25. 5 volts at the input to the voltage regulator under the most extreme conditions of temperature and instantaneous power demand, provided that not more than 15 percent of the ampere-hour capacity of the battery at + 25°C has been removed. As previously stated, the minimum telemetered battery voltage on TIROS VI was 27. 8 volts. Minimum battery voltage, as well as energy balance, is a criterion for permissible satellite programming. If the battery voltage remains below 26 volts on two successive orbits, programming is suspended until this minimum voltage is restored. Reduction of programming because of low battery voltage was thus never required on TIROS VL Performance of the storage battery is adversely affected by temperatures in excess of about +40°C. The cellulosic separator material used in the construction of the nickel-cadmium storage cell suffers both physical and electrical deterioration when the battery is subjected to temperatures of +40°C or greater for extended periods of time. The long lives of the TIROS satellites, and the fact that useful satellite life has never been shortened by battery degradation, may be attributed to the operating temperatures in orbit which have never exceeded +35°C and have averaged between +10°C and +30°C. (See Figure XI-4.) The TIROS VI battery temperature, telemetered on the first orbit of each day, is shown in Figure XI-4. Throughout the 360-day period in which telemetry was available, the battery temperature varied between 4. 7°C and 35°C. The average battery temperature was 12. 57°C.
DAYS AFTER LAUNCH
Ratio of Telemetered Solar Cell Patch Voltage to Calculated Patch Voltage versus Doys After Launch
XI. SATELLITE THERMAL RESPONSE
The thermal design of TIROS VI was essentially the same as that of previous TIROS satellites, employing the same passive temperature control techniques to maintain the temperatures of the satellite components within the allowable design temperature extremes and to maintain the temperature of the solar cells within the limits required for good conversion efficiency. Because TIROS VI did not carry an ГО subsystem, the heat contribution of the electronics subsystems was nearly the same as on the TIROS V satellite. Dummy weights were mounted on the TIROS VI baseplate in place of the IR electronic modules and had little effect on thermal balance.
With no significant differences between the thermal characteristics of TIROS VI and TIROS V, no differences in satellite temperature responses were predicted. The telemetered temperatures of TIROS VI showed this to be a valid prediction. Telemetered temperatures of the solar array, the top and sides of the satellite structure, the baseplate, the battery pack, and clock No. 2 (representative of average component temperatures) are plotted in Figures XI 1 through XI 5. The location and characteristics of the temperature sensors on the satellite, from which these data are obtained, are listed in Table XI 1. Figure XI 5 indicates that the average component temperatures remained within the design limits of 0 and +50°C. The top and side temperatures fell within limits predicted for maximum and minimum sun times. These predictions were based on prediction curves that were plotted for the thermal response of TIROS I and II and which have been valid for all of the subsequent TIROS satellites. That the prediction curves were still valid for TIROS VI is shown by the telemetered and predicted top temperatures listed in Table XI 2. The predictions were ob tained from the curves in Figure XI 7, using gamma angles and sun times from the plots in Figure XI 6. The telemetered top temperatures were taken from Figure XI 2. The first four values in Table XI 2, for 100 percent sun time, are
the most meaningful since there is no need to consider the orbital "time-of-day" as there is for the temperatures telemetered during orbits when the sun time was less than 100 percent. The telemetered 100-percent sun-time values, taken from orbits spread over the satellite's operating life, do not differ by more than approximately four degrees from the predicted values. The other four values, for 63-percent (minimum) sun time, fall within the limiting curves for the temperatures at the end of orbital night and the end of orbital day. The values for 100 percent sun time are particularly significant because of the wide variation of temperature with gamma angle (from -5°C for a gamma angle of 90 degrees to +82°C for a gamma angle of 0 degrees) and the short time constant of the top surface of the satellite. Thus any change in gamma angle may be expected to produce a rapid and relatively large change in top temperature.
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D A Y S AFTER LAUNCH
Figure Х / 7 . Temperature of Solar Cell Array versus Days After Launch
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DAYS AFTER LAUNCH Figure X/ 2. Top and Side Temperatures of Structure versus Days After Launch
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D A Y S A F T E R LAUNCH Figure XI 6. Gommo Angle and Percent Suntime versus Days After Launch
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TABLE XI 2. TIROS VI PREDICTED AND TELEMETERED TOP TEMPERATURES FOR MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM SUN TIMES Sim Time (percent)
100 100 100 100 63 63 63 63
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Figure XJ 7 Plot of Predicted Top Surface Temperatures Versus Comma Angle
XII. GROUND SUPPORT
A. 1. LAUNCH SUPPORT Launch Operations
The prototype TIROS spacecraft, T 24, and the TIROS checkout (Go, No Go) van were shipped from AED, Princeton, New Jersey, on August 29, 1962 and arrived at Cape Kennedy (at that time, Cape Canaveral), Florida at 0800 hours EST on August 31, 1962. Members of the RCA engineering staff were present and made an immediate inspection of the equipment which revealed that no damage had been incurred during shipment. The prototype spacecraft was checked out and delivered to the Spin Balance Building for mating with the inert third stage rocket. The spacecraft and third stage combination were then taken to Pad 17A and mated with the second stage rocket for the performance of the specified all systems RF test. This test was completed on September 4. The test results showed that a good communications link had been established between the TIROS checkout equipment and the spacecraft. No RF interference was noted during the tests. The qualified and calibrated flight model spacecraft, F 6, was shipped from AED on September 5 and arrived at the launch site on September 6. Immediately after being unpacked, the flight model spacecraft was inspected and found to be in excellent condition. Detailed electrical tests were conducted on September 7. The satellite performed satisfactorily throughout the tests, indicating that no degra dation of electrical or electronic circuits had resulted from handling and shipping. Daily electrical checks were performed between September 8 and September 10, with all systems operating normally. On September 10, spacecraft F 6 was turned over to the Douglas Aircraft Company personnel for mating with the third stage rocket. However, during the initial mating procedures, it was noted that the redesigned bolt shield, which prevents the halves of the Marmon separation clamps from striking the spacecraft during third stage separation, projected into the region normally occupied by the head of the antenna mounting flange bolt. This shield had been redesigned for the Delta 12 vehicle to accommodate a change in the third stage separation bolt system from explosive bolts to gas operated bolt cutters. After the shield had been modified, proper mating was achieved.
After spacecraft F 6 had been properly mated with the third stage rocket, in the Spin Balance Building, the satellite system tests were performed satisfactorily on September 12. Flight model spacecraft checks were again performed on September 15 and 16, with highly satisfactory results. Monday, September 17, was F l day for the range count down procedure. The flight model spacecraft system tests were performed satisfactorily, the missile systems were declared to be in launch condition, and the second stage propellant servicing was started. On September 17, at 1913 EST, the final count down began, and the final satellite tests with the fairing on were performed satisfactorily. However, a hold was called to permit the repair of a paper feed mechanism in a block house recorder. After the repair had been completed, the count down was resumed and continued without interruption until the time of launch at 0353 EST on September 18.
2. Orbital Data
The TIROS VI satellite was successfully launched and injected into an orbit having a perigee of 425.13 statute miles, an apogee of 442.18 statute miles, and a calculated eccentricity of 0.0019. The inclination of the orbit was 58.319 de grees, and the orbital period was 98.73 minutes. The normal point right ascen sion and declination were 199.1 degrees and 24.1 degrees, respectively.
В. 1. COMMAND AND DATA ACQUISITION STATIONS Introduction
Two primary Command and Data Acquisition (CDA) Stations were initially included in the TIROS VI ground complex, one located at the Pacific Missile Range (PMR) with installations at Point Mugu and San Nicolas Island, and the other located at Wallops Island, Virginia. A secondary CDA station, located in the AED facility near Princeton, New Jersey, functioned as a back up station for the Wallops Island station. Each CDA station consisted of four basic sections. (1) satellite command and control equipment, (2) data receiving components, (3) data processing and display components, and (4) recording devices.
The functions of the primary CDA ground stations were as follows: (1) to transmit radio signals to the satellite for programming its operation and data transmission, (2) to receive signals carrying the television, attitude, and telemetry data from the satellite, (3) to extract data from the carrier signals, (4) to record and identify the received data, and (5) to relay the recorded attitude and telemetry data, along with station status reports, to the TIROS Technical Control Center, GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland. The back up CDA station at the AED facility was equipped with the same func tional units as the two primary stations. This station monitored the responses of the satellite to commands from the Wallops Island station and tracked the satellite during the first 10 days following the launching of TIROS VI. Later, the newly completed CDA ground station, located near Fairbanks, Alaska, was placed in service. This station tracked and interrogated TIROS VI during the station checkout activities and on a regular basis after the station was given operational status.
Operational Evaluation a. General
The operational performance of the CDA ground stations was generally good. In spite of the increased programming load placed on the ground stations by the simultaneous operation of two satellites (6 to 7 orbits daily for TIROS V and 8 to 9 orbits daily for TIROS VI), ground station personnel rapidly adapted to the load and continued to perform their functions effectively. In early December 1962, a new system of programming, designed to extend the operational lives of the TIROS V and TIROS VI satellites, was decided upon, and was put into effect in mid December. The frequency of programming the satel lites was reduced to two orbits per satellite per day. The pictures acquired using this reduced programming sufficed to determine satellite attitude. Since camera system No. 2 on both satellites, had earlier lost the capability for pro viding meteorologically useful pictures, these systems were programmed for all
operations not involving actual picture taking, in order to prolong the useful lives of the full operational No. 1 camera systems. Camera 1 was not operated in the direct mode unless pictures were to be taken by that camera. Direct camera 2 was programmed during Direct Camera Sequence I unless camera 1 pictures were to be taken. If it became necessary to start both clocks using the A 3 alarm, direct camera 2 was used in Direct Camera Sequence П. As much power as possible was expended by operating camera 2 in the direct mode. However, the No. 2 cameras on the two satellites were not operated when their interrogations would take place within 30 minutes of each other, nor were lengthly operations of camera 2 in the direct mode scheduled when north indicator (S 9) data was not being received. In addition to these changes, command interference between the Wallops Island and PMR ground stations was avoided by never commanding the two satellites within 15 minutes of each other (between the completion of commanding one satel lite and the initiation of command to the other satellite). This practice was em ployed in commanding one satellite from PMR and the other from the Wallops Island station as well as in commanding both satellites from a single ground station. During the early part of October 1963, after the beacon transmitters had been turned off, as scheduled, by the one year timers, the CDA stations continued effective tracking of the satellite using ephemeris data. During this period the data supplied to the CDA stations was found to contain a time error. However, each station was able to make the necessary com pensation for this error; as a result very little TV data was lost. The Wallops Island and PMR ground stations performed with good efficiency despite antenna problems. The quality of the photoprints from both of these CDA ground stations was good, and film densities were within the specifica tion requirements. b. Wallops Island Station
Prior to the successful launch and orbit of TIROS VI, a new ex citer unit was provided for the ITA high power transmitter installed at the Wallops Island station. In addition, a tunable receiver, equipped with a Panelyzer and oscilloscope, was installed at the ground station to facilitate monitoring of command modulation percentage.
Because the Wallops Island station had been in continuous use for programming TIROS V, no unusual maintenance had to be performed in order to prepare the station for use in the TIROS VI program. However, both the ITA transmitter and the Collins transmitter were checked to make certain that they were (1) pro viding efficient operation at the TIROS command frequency; (2) providing the proper modulation percentage; and (3) free from spurious outputs. Also, the receiving and data processing components were checked to ensure that their operating parameters were within specifications. Operation of the ground station during the initial weeks of TIROS VI operation was satisfactory. The only difficulty experienced during September 1962, was the presence of short bursts of TV interference on several orbits of the satellite. Although very little data was lost as a result of this interference, all possible sources of this type of interference were investigated. The exact source of this interference could not be identified, however. Because low solar elevations were predicted for both satellites in the period from November 21 to November 28, 1962, programming was reduced to two orbits per day. During December 1962, the Wallops Island station had to be closed down on several occasions because of high winds and snow, and during January 1963, isolated malfunctions of the command programmer and sun angle computer caused the loss of pictures from several remote sequences. During the period from February 16, 1963 to March 20, 1963, while modifications were being made to the AT 36 antenna at the PMR ground station, the Wallops Island station assumed all command and data acquisition responsibilities. On February 19, 1963, the General Bronze antenna at the Wallops Island station was damaged by high winds and could not be used. The medium gain, multiple yagi antenna was therefore placed in service, permitting the station to handle the full programming load for both operative satellites. However, the smaller gain of this antenna resulted in a higher than usual percentage of noisy pictures and in the loss of some of the north indicator and attitude data. The General Bronze antenna was restored to operation on March 12, 1963. An interference problem between the transmitting and receiving antennas at the Wallops Island station was eliminated by the installation of a special filter in the cathode circuit of the driver stage of the Collins transmitter. This change made it possible to track either satellite beacon with reduced interference from the command transmissions.
The station ceased operations on March 14 and 15, 1963, for a scheduled yearly repair and checkout of the Kennedy Antennas (multiple yagi configu ration). Also during March, the command address programming kits (required for the TIROS VII system) were installed in both programmers, and the required system tests were completed. Antenna problems caused the cancellation or termination of a total of four passes at the Wallops Island station during the month of April 1963. In addition, some frames were lost because of antenna problems which occurred during passes that were interrogated. For one brief period during August 1963, a problem in the photographic processing at the Wallops Island station resulted in an erroneous report of degradation in the quality of TIROS VI pictures; this problem was quickly remedied by correcting photographic processing procedures, and no further difficulties were experienced. The station successfully completed and confirmed a programmed spin up of TIROS VI on orbit 5286 (approximately 20 orbits after the beacons were turned off). The station refurbishment program continued with the delivery and installation of the tape recorder decks. The new data clock, supplied to the station during August 1963, was installed in the monitor data box and was used to give a real time indication on the work negatives. с. Pacific Missile Range Station
The TIROS VI requirements for the CDA station at PMR were virtually identical to those for TIROS V. Several weeks prior to the launch of TIROS VI, the station equipment was completely checked, aligned and calibrated. During the launch and injection into orbit of TIROS VI, the PMR station verified the separation and de spin events and reported that the ephemeris data were approximately correct. In addition, PMR obtained the approximate spin rate and recorded a portion of the telemetry transmission resulting from a Wallops Island command. Progressively greater deviations from the pre launch ephemeris were observed during orbits 002 and 003; however, it was noted that a good match could be ob tained between the tracking data and the ephemeris for orbit 003 if the data were modified to be 3.5 minutes later and 5 to 10 degrees lower than the predicted values.
Occasionally, during the first day orbits, minor interference was detected in the video when the satellite was passing the station at low elevation angles and at azimuths which required the antenna to be pointed toward Los Angeles. Occasional problems were encountered with the 60 foot dish antenna. During orbit 50, for example, the feedline was found to be on the wrong side of the ped estal; this caused a delay of about five minutes in starting the program and a loss of the direct pictures from camera system No. 2. NASA directed the use of the 200 watt rather than the 2000 watt command trans mitters for programming TIROS V and TIROS VI, on October 4, 1962. Immedi ately thereafter, problems were experienced in programming the satellite from the PMR station. These problems were attributed to low command power. Therefore, the 2000 watt command transmitter at PMR was returned to opera tion, providing a significant improvement in command reliability. Because coverage predictions indicated that the picture centers of the cameras in both satellites would lie in poorly illuminated areas from November 21 to November 28, 1962, it was decided that the Wallops Island station would under take all tracking responsibility during this period of reduced operation. There fore, the PMR station was relieved of its scheduled tracking responsibility from November 21 to November 26, 1962. On two occasions during the latter part of January 1963, PMR experienced dif ficulties with the high power command transmitter and command antenna, ne cessitating the temporary shut down of the station and the use of the low power transmitter. Modifications of the AT 36 tracking antenna were begun in February 1963 and completed in early March 1963. Test and calibration of the antenna drive sys tem were completed on March 6, 1963. The unit was placed in operation on the following day. However, malfunctions occurred in the servo system causing the cancellation of command and data acquisition operations on several orbits. Some additional interrogations were cancelled while the antenna was being aligned. Work was completed by March 20, 1963. When the station was put back into oper ation, it had, for the first time, the capability of operating in high winds. Also during March 1963, the command address kits (required for the TIROS УП pro gram) were installed on both programmers, and the required system tests were performed. During April, antenna problems caused the cancellation or termination of a number of passes and the loss of some TV frames at the PMR ground station. From April 27 to April 29, 1963, operation of the microwave link between San Nicolas Island and the mainland was interrupted so that maintenance could be performed and repairs made. This circuit was restored to normal service at 1500Z on April 29, 1963, as scheduled.
During May, necessary repairs were made to maintain the serviceability of the small van used in processing archival and evaluation negatives of the TIROS VI pictures at the PMR station. The use of this van was continued until a larger van, more completely outfitted for photoprocessing, could be procured and in stalled. A considerable amount of difficulty with the command transmitter, feed cable, and command antenna was experienced during June 1963. To alleviate these problems, it was recommended that the ГГА high power transmitter be replaced with a new unit. It was also recommended that the command antenna be removed from the periphery of the AT 36, remounted on a separate pedestal, and slaved to the AT 36 antenna drive. Malfunctions in the ITA high power transmitter resulted in the cancellation of programming on some orbits on July 2 and 10, 1963. Also during July, 1963, data was lost on several orbits because of problems with the AT 36 antenna. The new photographic van was installed and placed in operation during the early part of July 1963. In mid July, AED shipped the government furnished densitometer (McBeth, Model TD 100) to PMR at the request of NASA. This unit was one of three units supplied in connection with the accumulation of test equipment for the Alaskan ground station. During August 1963, the PMR station received most of the equipment being sup plied for the refurbishment program (conducted under contract No. NAS 5 3173) and the new tape recorder decks were installed. The installation and alignment of the new data clock was completed during September 1963. In September 1963, the station experienced radar interference from naval units operating in the vicinity of San Nicolas Island and radio interference from the direction of Los Angeles. d. Alaska Station
Limited operational use of the TIROS CDA station at Gilmore Creek, near Fairbanks, Alaska, began on September 2, 1963. On that date, the Alaska station interrogated TIROS VI on two passes. The results of these interroga tions were marginal because of interference of the command transmitters with TV data reception. After the installation of filters between the antenna and the TV preamplifiers, this interference was greatly reduced, and subsequent inter rogations produced satisfactory results. During the remainder of September, the station continued interrogations of TIROS VI in accordance with assignments from the TIROS Technical Control Center, while further engineering evaluations were conducted. The interrogations of TIROS VI were continued with satisfactory results until malfunctions in the antenna control system made it necessary to reschedule the interrogations to the Wallops Island station.
Princeton Back Up Station
The Princeton ground station, located in the AED facility near Princeton, New Jersey, was prepared for support of the TIROS VI launch during the week ending September 16, 1962. A trial operational check was conducted on September 13; all systems performed satisfactorily during the check. A detailed tune up of the Princeton antenna system was satisfactorily completed on September 17. On September 18, 1962, the Princeton ground station tracked the satellite during its first orbit, and determined that the spin rate was 99 rpm, con siderably lower than the 125 rpm design spin rate. The ground station was used for tracking the satellite during the first 10 days after launch. Although it was not necessary to program the satellite from this station, recordings were made of the data transmitted by the satellite while it was being inter rogated by the Wallops Island station. This data was processed at AED to permit direct evaluation of the satellite's performance by the AED engineer ing staff. Shortly before orbit 005, a malfunction in the antenna system prevented the station from tracking the satellite's fifth orbit; however, the problem was quickly corrected and the station was returned to operation in time to track orbit 006. On orbits 019 and 032, a short burst of noise was experienced on the 235 Mc TV channel. The time of this interference was verified by WALACQ, leading to the conclusion that some other satellite was also transmitting on the frequency of the TIROS TV transmitter. During the 10 days of operation, no significant problems were experienced except for a problem in the antenna drive system which occurred during a scheduled interrogation of TIROS VI on October 12, 1963. During the pre pass antenna checkout for this interrogation, a catastrophic failure of the elevation drive shaft caused the antenna assembly to hit the mechanical stops, resulting in damage to the 136 Mc ground planes. Repairs were started immediately on October 14 and were completed in November. The AED ground station was used, as necessary, for back up operations and for engineering evaluations throughout the remainder of the period of TIROS VI operation.
TIROS TECHNICAL CONTROL CENTER Introduction
NASA Operations Division, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Mary land, functioned as the TIROS Technical Control Center (TTCC) for the TIROS VI satellite. The duties and responsibilities of the TTCC were as follows: f 1) to accept, analyze, and catalog engineering reports on satellite and ground station conditions; (2) to accept, analyze, and transmit predictions concerning the locations of feasible photographic areas, the sequence of these areas, and the times when the satellite could be contacted by the ground stations; (3) to accept daily programming recommendations from the U. S. Weather Bureau; (4) to decide the actual sequence of operations for each day, after taking into consideration the condition of the power supply and the perform ance of the satellite and ground stations; (5) to prepare and transmit specific operating instructions and pertinent acquisition and picture orientation information to the ground stations; (6) to accept and review performance reports and significant telemetry data from the С DA stations; (7) to select and transmit, immediately, instructions required for han dling emergency situations; and (8) to coordinate all TIROS VI operational phase activities.
2. Operational Evaluation
In accordance with provisions included in the mission plan, four alternative groups of programs were prepared by TTCC for the first day after launch to allow for various contingencies during the launch phase of operation. Program A was to be used if the launching was normal in all respects. Program В was to be used if the satellite failed to separate from the third stage rocket. Program С was to be used if the satellite's rotational velocity was not reduced to an operational level. Program D was to be used if the satellite's orbital path was poor. Since the launch was normal, Program A was used.
Satellite programming was restricted to some degree on the early orbits because of the occurrence of high nadir angles while the satellite was over illuminated portions of the earth. During later orbits, more favorable nadir angles occurred, and available power was the only restriction on programming. The procedures for monitoring and evaluating power supply conditions were followed closely to assure efficient use of available power and to maintain load bus voltages within desig nated limits. The control center activity, operating on a 24 hour per day, seven day per week basis, carried out its assigned tasks within the rigid time limits dictated by sat ellite schedules. Through its direct communications link with the ground sta tions, the control center followed spacecraft operations, orbit by orbit, when problems developed. Operational anomalies of a critical or emergency nature were reported as observed to responsible NASA and AED personnel by commer cial telephone circuits. These calls were routed to the offices or homes of the individuals concerned. An excellent working relationship was maintained with the CDA stations, various NASA groups, and the AED engineering and ground station personnel throughout this period.
APPENDIX A. EXTENDED OPERATIONAL EVALUATION
Beginning on October 15, 1963, after repeated tests had made it apparent that the period of receiving meteorologically useful television pictures from the TIROS VI satellite had ended, an extended operational evaluation was initiated in order to gain more insight into the long term characteristics of the satellite subsystems and components. This evaluation was possible because of the continuing normal performance of the power supply subsystem, the dynamics control subsystem and the instrumentation control subsystem. Since telemetry transmissions had ended with the irrevocable turn-off of the satellite's beacon transmitters on September 14, 1963, by the successful operation of the oneyear timers, the data available for evaluation was limited to the TV data and the north indicator data, both of which are modulated on the 235-Me TV carriers. These data permitted indirect analysis of the performance of the power supply subsystem, the dynamics control subsystem, the instrumentation control subsystem, and the antennas, as well as direct analysis of the TV picture and north indicator subsystems. The system No. 1 camera was operating normally with the exception of the focus current regulator. Although the pictures were defocused, the image was recognizable and the raster scanning was normal. A picture from the early part of this evaluation period is shown in Figure A-l. This picture contains a uniform interference pattern which is undoubtedly the result of a pulse radar set operating in the vicinity of the ground station (PMR). Operation of the satellite subsystems during the period from December 1963 to June 1964, throughout which two interrogations were made each week, is summarized in Table A-l. During this period, operation of the north indicator subsystem was erratic, sometimes returning normal data while at other times returning no data. Beginning m February 1964, operation of the tape recorders became erratic, in April, performance of the cameras became erratic. From this evidence of intermittent performance it may be inferred that the power available to the subsystems underwent wide fluctuations, possibly as the result of low input to the solar cells. TIROS VI responded to interrogations made during orbit 9412 on June 24, 1964, after the satellite had been in orbit for 21 months. A picture taken by the camera No. 1 system in response to one of the late-orbit interrogations is
shown in Figure A-2. On June 27, a scheduled interrogation of TIROS VI by the PMR CDA station was cancelled because of ground-station antenna difficulties. On June 29, the next scheduled interrogation by PMR was performed, but the satellite did not respond. Further attempts to obtain satellite response were made on June 29 and 30, by both the PMR and the Wallops Island CDA stations, without success. The histories of the last successful interrogations were examined to see if any indication of imminent failure or degradation was present. It was found that, according to published predictions, * the TIROS VI gamma angle (sun angle) was nearly 80 degrees on June 23. This is an extremely high gamma angle and any further increase due to attitude drift would rapidly expose the baseplate to direct sunlight and cause a large portion of the solar array to be shaded. The lack of solar-cell illumination, by itself, would quite probably have prevented the satellite from responding. The substantial increase in component temperatures resulting from exposure of the baseplate to direct sunlight would further decrease the possibility of a normal response. An examination of orbit data revealed that, on June 23, TIROS VI was within command range of the PMR CDA station while that station was commanding the TIROS Vn satellite. A programmed stepping of the TIROS Vn MAC switch from position 6 to position 11 during this interrogation may have produced a response in TIROS VI, causing its MAC switch to advance to a high-torque position. The resulting rapid increase in gamma angle could have led to extreme baseplate temperatures and low solar-cell input, and the consequent loss of satellite response. Thus, there is no evidence of failure in any of the satellite subsystems, although the quality of the TV pictures gradually degraded (as is apparent from a comparison of Figures A-l and A-2), and the performance of the active subsystems had become erratic, probably as the result of low and varying supply voltages. These conditions and the loss of response could have resulted, at least in part, from satellite attitudes at which the input to the solar array was insufficient to sustain normal satellite operation.
*Satelhte attitude (horizon-scanner) data, normally transmitted by modulation of the beacon transmitters, was no longer available.
On December 23, 1964, as this report was being prepared for printing, subsystem No. 1 of TIROS VI responded to commands from the Wallops Island CDA station, providing 29 direct frames, 32 remote frames, and 2 directremote (overset) frames. On that date TIROS VI had been in orbit for 827 days and had completed more than 12,000 orbits. The pictures exhibited the same characteristics as during the last successful interrogation of system No. 1, indicating that the condition of the satellite had not undergone any appreciable change. Further reports of interrogations of TIROS VI will be issued separately as they occur.
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Figure A.2. Orbit 9355, Camera 7, Direct, June 20, 1964
Alignment and Calibration Data for the TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite; AED 1584; September 1, 1962. Final Engineering Report, TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite System; AED R-1854; November 22, 1963. Graphs for Telemetry Data Processing and Power Supply Monitoring, TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite System; ASD TR 61-11. TIROS V Meteorological Satellite System Post-Launch Evaluation Report; AED R-2022; February 29, 1964. TIROS VI Meteorological Satellite Pre-launch Calculation of Programs for Optimum Orientation of the Spin Axis; AED 1586; September 10, 1962.