NOAA 9 was a third-generation operational meteorological satellite. The satellite design provided an economical and stable sun-synchronous platform for advanced operational instruments to measure the earth's atmosphere, its surface and cloud cover, and the near-space environment. Primary sensors included (1) an advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR), (2) a TIROS operational vertical sounder (TOVS), (3) an earth radiation budget experiment (ERBE), and (4) a solar backscattered ultraviolet radiometer (SBUV/2). The secondary experiment was a data collection and platform location system (DCPLS). A search and rescue satellite aided tracking (SARSAT) system was also carried on NOAA 9. The satellite was based upon the Block 5D spacecraft bus developed for the U.S. Air Force, and was capable of maintaining an earth-pointing accuracy of better than plus or minus 0.1 deg with a motion rate of less than 0.035 deg/s.
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