"TIROS I"

"TIROS II" 

Ground Station
at the Camp Evans
Project Diana Site

   Thanks to Mr. Frank Vosk for donating  most of these photos and his 1961 "TIROS" Ground Station Entry Card.
evans logo

The TIROS Program (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) was America's
first experimental step to determine if satellites could be useful in the study of the Earth.



   As the Belmar Marconi Wireless high-power station,Camp Evans played a roll in the opening of the modern radio with the Edwin Armstrong regenerative circuit test in 1914, then during WWI a major advance in communication science was made here in static elimination by Roy Weagant, major advances were made here during WWII in radar, in 1946 using modified FM radar equipment designed by Edwin Armstrong the space age was opened with Project Diana.
   This page shows how at this same part of Camp Evans, called the Project Diana site, the Army played a major roll in the development of technology to receive cloud cover photos from a satellite orbiting above the ionosphere.  Thanks to the development of this technology hurricans and typhoons no longer kill tens of thousands of persons in a single storm.  Plus weather prediction has improved tremendously.
   From the early days of wireless, to radio, to radar, to TV, to space communications and satellites Camp Evans played a part.


   
The April 1st launch of TIROS I.   Twenty minutes later the first signals are received by equipment at Camp Evans and developed into photos.
A few hours later President Eisenhower views the first photos taken by TIROS I, 
The photo page  was flown by helicoper and jet to Washington for the head of NASA to present to the President.
***Thank you to Mr. Frank DeFreitas of Allentown, Pa.  for this image and a physical photo.

Published on April 7, 1960   "Signal Pilots Fly Photos To NASA"  &  "Teams Now Monitoring Its Signals", Monmouth Message, Page 1 cont. page 3.
    
Article on how first TIROS weather photos were developed at Camp Evans and then flown to NASA in Washington D.C. for presentation to President Eisenhower.
I wonder if the President thought  it would have been great to have had this capability whan he had to make the go / no go decision for D-Day in Europe in June 1944 as Allied Supreme Commander.


December 1, 1960  Lab Speeds Tiros Photos.  The Monmouth Message Page 1


Click on image for larger photo     The TIROS Dish and ground control center in 2005.
Dish that tracked the first weather satellites's TIROS I amd TIROS II
Charlie Krauss on ground, photo taken by George Swistak from "Cherry Picker" parked along Marconi Road and operated by Frank Vosk.
Photo donated by Frank Vosk

For more technical detail on the ground station click here
 
  Harris Corporation donates funds to InfoAge to repaint historic TLM-18 Dish it built in 1958. 
Click on image above for more photos of ceremony.

Click on image above for larger view.


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Assembly of TIROS Ground Station reception disk at Camp Evans Project Diana Site.

     " In July 1958, ARPA placed the technical direction of the development and production of the TIROS payload by  RCA into the responsibility of SRDL.
      ARPA's sponsorship was later transferred to NASA and when TIROS 1 was successfully launched on I April 1960, it was under the auspices of NASA. All systems operated perfectly and flooded the meteorological community with a total of 22,952 cloudcover pictures.
     The final management of the TIROS project represented a rather complex picture. The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division was in charge of the launching vehicle and the operation of a ground terminal at Hawaii; the Signal    Corps was responsible for the payload and the operation of a ground terminal at Fort Monmouth. The overall operational phase was directed from the Space Operations Control Center of NASA, with the NASA Computing Center and a Weather Bureau Meteorology  Satellite Center, both in Washington, D.C., playing a major role.
        The results of the TIROS were most gratifying and fascinating. Besides the cloud formation, the first set of pictures - depicting a sweep along the east coast -clearly  showed the contours of the coast and the St. Lawrence River.
        These first pictures were immediately flown to Washington where the head of NASA presented them to President Eisenhower for public release. Later, even more impressive images were obtained from many parts of the globe, among them pictures of the Baja California Peninsula and the Suez-Canal-Red Sea area which are still vividly in my memory.
        We received fair credit for our contributions through  the news media and some official channels, but were muzzled by NASA in the release of any information or results from our ground terminal at Fort Monmouth.  We ended up as mere messengers to deliver the goods for further analysis to the various centers."
The above is quoted from an insider's view of how the first cloud cover photos were really handled

Photos from inside building 9162 at the Camp Evans Diana site while receiving the first weather satellite photos
The first weather satellite photos were received in Wall Township


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Locked in - Engineers and technicians of the U.S. Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory watch the signal level as the 60-foot dish shaped antenna, Space Sentry, picks up the signals from the TIROS 1 weather satellite.  The 270 pound camera carrying weather laboratory is just coming into radio range of hte ground station at Fort Monmouth.
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National Geographic      August 1960   Photo published in August 1960 issue of National Geographic
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NASA R-131 
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 In 1962 NASA published "Final Report on the TIROS I Meterological Satellite, NASA Technical Report R-131"

Technical Report purchased on ebay, the photos and text sent to Infoage by Virtual Volunteer Juan Jose Cabrero of Spain.

Also found in this report is a photo of the Camp Evans - Diana site.  Juan pointed out the 50-foot Diana Dish is missing...but everything else is the same?

TLM-18
Chick on image to get a closer look at the strange photo


Dr. Harold Zahl (center) outside building 9162.
Click on image for larger photo
 


 Photo from NASA website: The very first television picture from space, taken by the TIROS-I Satellite on April 1, 1960.  Received at Camp Evans, Project DIana site.

from NASA website:
     The TIROS I spacecraft was 42 inches in diameter, 19 inches high and weighed 270 pounds. The craft was made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel which was then covered by 9200 solar cells. The solar cells served to charge the on-board batteries. Three pairs of solid-propellant spin rockets were mounted on the base plate.
Two television cameras were housed in the craft, one low-resolution and one high-resolution. A magnetic tape recorder for each camera was supplied for storing photographs while the satellite was out of range of the ground station network.
     The antennas consisted of four rods from the base plate to serve as transmitters and one vertical rod from the center of the top plate to serve as a receiver.
The craft was spin-stabilized and space-oriented (not Earth-oriented). Therefore, the cameras were only operated while they were pointing at the Earth when that portion of the Earth was in sunlight.  The video systems relayed thousands of pictures containing cloud-cover views of the Earth. Early photographs provided information concerning the structure of large-scale cloud regimes.   TIROS-I was launched on April 1, 1960 and was operational for only 78 days, but proved that satellites could be a useful tools for surveying global weather conditions from space.

Participants: NASA, US ARMY Signal Research and Development Lab, RCA, US Weather Bureau, US Naval Photographic Interpretation Center.

from NASA website   ;
     The TIROS II spacecraft was 42 inches in diameter, 19 inches high and weighed 280 pounds. The craft was made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel which was then covered by 9260 solar cells. The solar cells served to charge the nicad batteries. Two television cameras were housed in the craft, one low-resolution and one high-resolution. A magnetic tape recorder for each camera was supplied for storing photographs while the satellite was out of range of the ground station network. In addition, an infrared horizon sensor for attitude control, a direction indicator for picture orientation, two infrared radiation experiments, and a magnetic orientation control experiment were included.
     The antennas consisted of four rods from the base plate to serve as transmitters and one vertical rod from the center of the top plate to serve as a receiver. The video systems relayed thousands of pictures containing cloud-cover views of the Earth. Early photographs provided information concerning the structure of large-scale cloud regimes. In addition, the experiment to partially control the orientation of the satellite spin axis was successful, as was the experiment with infrared sensors.  TIROS-II was launched on November, 23, 1960 and was operational for only 376 days.
Participants: NASA, US ARMY Signal Research and Development Lab, RCA, US Weather Bureau, US Naval Photographic Interpretation Center.


Sources of additional information on TIROS, meteorology, and satellites in the Infoage library...

Jakes 1966   TIROS WEATHER EYE IN SPACE by John Jakes.  Published 1966
This book provides details on the TIROS models teste  and the TIROS command and Control Center
at Camp Evans.

Vaeth 1965   WEATHER EYES IN THE SKY by J. Gordon Vaeth.  Published 1965

Hubert 1967  WEATHER SATELLITES by  Hubert.  Published 1967

Clarke 1992  HOW THE WORLD WAS ONE by Arthur C. Clarke.  Published 1992

Nebeker 1995  Calculating the Weather by Frederik Nebeker.  Published 1995

Battan 1962  RADAR OBSERVES THE WEATHER by Louis J. Battan

   Vosk Film Vosk Film Original 2 minute film and transfer to DVD.
8 mm film of the Silent Sential Antenna tracking TIROS I. 
Taken by and donated to Infoage by Mr. Frank Vosk

The Army Satellite Communications Architecture Book - 2003.  by Headquarters DOA. 
Official Use Restrictions apply

Video: Global Guardins - The Evolution of the Army SATCOM. 



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