The Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer operated on NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite for more than eight years, from 26 October 1978 to 20 August 1987, transmitting data every other day. Intended to obtain ocean circulation parameters such as sea surface temperatures, low altitude winds, water vapor and cloud liquid water content on an all-weather basis, the SMMR is a ten channel instrument capable of receiving both horizontally and vertically polarized radiation. A parabolic antenna 79 cm in diameter reflected microwave emissions into a five-frequency feed horn. The antenna beam maintained a constant nadir angle of 42 degrees, resulting in an incidence angle of 50.3 degrees at Earth's surface. The antenna was forward viewing and rotated equally +/- 25 degrees about the satellite subtrack. The 50 degree scan provided a 780 km swath of the Earth's surface. Scan period was 4.096 seconds.
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