Nimbus-7 coastal zone color scanner (CZCS) data



The Nimbus-7 spacecraft was launched in October 1978 with a Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) devoted principally to measurements of ocean color. It has six spectral bands; four chiefly for ocean color, each of 20 nanometer spectral bandwidth and centered at 443, 520, 550, and 670 nanometers. Another channel senses reflected solar radiance, but has a 700–800 nanometer spectral bandwidth and a dynamic range more suited for land. A channel operates in the 10.5–12.5 micrometer region and senses thermal radiance for derivation of equivalent blackbody temperature. This channel operated from October 1978 until November 1979 and from April to October 1980. The sensor swathwidth is approximately 1600 km with a spatial resolution at the nadir of 800 m. The sensor has a tilt mechanism to avoid glint, where the angle of scan can be tilted in 2° increments up to 20° either ahead or behind the spacecraft line of flight. The angle of tilt is, again, determined by solar elevation angle. More detail is available in papers by Hovis et al. (Nimbus-7 coastal zone color scanner: System description and initial imagery, Science, 210, 60, 1980) and Gordon et al. (Phytoplankton pigments from the Nimbus-7 coastal zone color scanner: Comparisons with surface measurements, Science, 210, 63, 1980).