Skip to main content

The ERBE Nonscanner Instrument


The ERBE non-scanning instrument , like it’s scanning companion, was designed, built, and calibrated by TRW, Inc. at it’s facility in Redondo Beach, California in 1984. There are five detectors within the instrument, four of which normally operate in a nadir (Earth) staring mode. The fifth detector (the solar monitor) is used only for solar calibration measurements. In-flight, the instrument is (normally) calibrated internally at 2-week intervals. The detectors are as follows:

The Wide Field-Of-View (WFOV) Detectors:

  1. One Total (wavelength) active cavity radiometer (ACR)
  2. One Short (wavelength) ACR

The Medium Field-Of-View (MFOV) Detectors:

  1. One Total (wavelength) ACR
  2. One Short (wavelength) ACR

The Solar Monitor Detector:

  1. One Solar active cavity pyrheliometer

The total detectors measure radiation in the 0.2 – 50.0 micron wavelength band, and the shortwave detectors measure radiation in the 0.2 – 5.0 micron band. The solar monitor is sensitive to all incident irradiance.


The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) nonscanner instrument remained fully operational for more than eight years. An eight year nonscanner history of ERBS WFOV measurements shows the long-term trends of the Earth’s emitted and reflected radiant energy over this period of time.

Return to ERBE Home

ERBE Science Lead: Takmeng Wong