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GIFTS-IOMI (EO 3)

GIFTS-IOMI (EO 3) [NASA]

The New Millennium Program's (NMP) Earth Observing 3 (EO3) mission, called GIFTS, was the first step in improving the operational weather observing systems. GIFTS, which stands for Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer, was an instrument that incorporated the breakthrough technologies of an innovative atmospheric measuring concept; a concept developed at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Earth Observing 3 (EO3) GIFTS-IOMI was a New Millennium Program's joint mission with the US Navy's Office of Naval Research. GIFTS-IOMI stands for Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) - Indian Ocean METOC Imager (IOMI). GIFTS was a highly advanced instrument selected by NASA to perform as EO3's latest weather observing instrument. Here are some interesting details on the mission:

  •  GIFTS-IOMI was to collect weather data from 22,000 miles away in a geosynchronous orbit.
  • The GIFTS instrument was to use over 32,600 sensors to collect data, scanning an area of 317 miles square every ten seconds (data collected that fast is called near-real-time).
  • GIFTS-IOMI was to collect atmospheric data that helps scientists to analyze temperature, wind patterns, cloud cover, water vapor, and pollutants in our atmosphere.
  • GIFTS-IOMI was to help improve the accuracy of weather forecasting for the next decade by providing up-to-the-minute information, never before available, on severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • Data collected during the mission was to be available as part of the GIFTS education and public outreach programs.

GIFTS-IOMI objective was to demonstrate and flight qualify advanced technologies for application to future space missions and to provide better meteorological and atmospheric chemistry data products (results).

GIFTS was originally planned as a hosted payload on a geostationary satellite, but was later changed into a free-flyer featuring TWR's T310 bus.

GIFTS-IOMI was planned to be the main payload of the STP-1 mission in 2004.

Due changed priorities, the US Navy withdraw its resources for the spacecraft, but remained involved in the development of the GIFTS instrument. This caused the cancellation of the spacecraft and the IMAGE instrument. The GIFTS instrument itself was not continued, but the commercial STORM (Sounding and Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology) derivative was developed by GeoMetWatch Corp., with is planned to fly as hosted paylaods on geostationary comsats.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Meteorology
Operator: NASA / US Navy / USAF STP (Space Test Program)
Contractors: Northrop Grumman Space Technology (ex TRW)
Equipment: GIFTS, IMAGE, CryoCommSat
Configuration: T310
Propulsion: TR-500 ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 7 years
Mass: 1950 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
GIFTS-IOMI (EO 3) - cancelled SLC-41 Atlas-5(401)

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