The spin scan camera was first flown on ATS-1 from 1966 to 1973 to continuously monitor the global atmospheric circulation. Later, modified versions with improved sensor capabilities were flown on ATS-3 and SMS. Today, the GOES series of spin scan cameras is in regular operational use. The value of the spin scan camera as a dependable meteorological workhorse requires proper functioning of the entire camera system, composed of four main elements: a) a spinning spacecraft whose highly stable and predictable motions generate a time divisible precision scan and therefore a metric image; b) a telescope having both on-axis image quality and a wide field of view; c) a data chain which in-corporates duty cycle improvement and uses the spacecraft as a communication link to distribute the image data to users; and d) image display and analysis techniques which permit organizing a large number of images in the time domain and efficiently selecting and measuring data of greatest importance.
Verner E. Suomi,
Robert J. Krauss,
"The Spin Scan Camera System: Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Workhorse for a Decade," Optical Engineering 17(1), 170106 (1 February 1978). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7972172