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Mission Name:


About the Mission:

Earth Observing 3 (EO3) GIFTS-IOMI is 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 is 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 will collect weather data from 35,405 kilometers (just over 22,000 miles) away in a geosynchronous orbit. This means it will remain in a fixed position relative to Earth, while flying in an equatorial orbit at the same speed and angle as the Earth’s rotation. This allows the instrument to always "stare" at us.
  • The GIFTS instrument uses over 32,600 sensors to collect data, scanning an area of 510 kilometers (just over 317 miles square) every ten seconds (data collected that fast is called near-real-time).
  • GIFTS-IOMI will collect atmospheric data that helps scientists to analyze temperature, wind patterns, cloud cover, water vapor, and pollutants in our atmosphere.
  • GIFTS-IOMI will 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 will be available as part of the GIFTS education and public outreach programs.


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

Project Manager:

F. Wallace Harrison, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Major Contractors/Contributors:

NASA Langley Research Center, US Navy Office of Naval Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Space Dynamics Laboratory Utah State University, University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center, and various advanced technology providers.

Start Date:  January 2000

Launch Date:  TBD, planned for 2005—2006

Launch Vehicle:   Delta II

Launch Site:  Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Launch Mass:  GIFTS Instrument — 100 kilograms (just over 220 pounds), Spacecraft and Complete Payload — 1805 kilograms (just over 3,979 pounds)

Communications Bandwidth:  X-band 60 Mbps

Max Data Rate: GIFTS Instrument — 60 Mb/sec

Max Power: GIFTS Instrument — 320 Watts

Outreach Coordinators/Managers:

Dr. Arlene Levine, Langley Research Center,
Dr Sanjay Limaye, University of Wisconsin,
Nancy J. Leon, New Millennium Program, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NEXT: Mission Benefits

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   Last Updated:  November 03