of the WDC-RSAT website covers the sources (sensors and missions)
of satellite data used for remote sensing of the atmosphere and which
form the basis of many of the available products and services.
Along-Track Scanning Radiometer This sensor is one of the Announcement
of Opportunity (AO) instruments on board the European Space Agency
(ESA) satellite ENVISAT. It is the most recent in a series of instruments
designed primarily to measure Sea Surface Temperature (SST), following
on from ATSR-1 and ATSR-2 on board ERS-1 and ERS-2.
Chemistry Experiment is a Canadian satellite mission on board
the Canadian satellite SCISAT-1 for remote sensing of the Earth's
atmosphere. ACE was launched on August 13, 2003. The measurements
consist of spectra and images that are used to investigate chemical
and dynamical processes in our atmosphere, with a particular emphasis
on ozone depletion in the Arctic stratosphere.
Infrared Sounder This atmospheric sensor is one of six instruments
on board the Aqua satellite, part of NASA's Earth Observing System.
Together these instruments observe the global water and energy cycles,
climate variation and trends, and the response of the climate system
to increased greenhouse gases. AIRS measures the atmospheric temperature
and humidity profiles.
Microwave Scanning Radiometer AMSR was launched on board the
Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-II (ADEOS-II) in June,
2002. AMSR measures geophysical variables related to the earth's
water cycle, including: precipitation rate, cloud water, water vapor,
sea surface winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration,
snow water equivalent, and soil moisture.
Microwave Sounding Unit A / B The first AMSU was launched in
May 1998 on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
NOAA 15 satellite. This sensor primarily obtains temperature profiles
in the upper atmosphere (especially the stratosphere) and provides
a cloud-filtering capability for tropospheric temperature observations.
Trace Molecules Observed by Spectroscopy This instrument was
flown four times on the space shuttle: on Spacelab-3 in April 1995,
and three times on ATLAS (March 1992, April 1993 and November 1994).
It is an infrared spectrometer designed to provide information on
the chemical composition of the atmosphere.
TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder The Advanced TOVS (ATOVS)
has been flown on the NOAA satellites beginning with NOAA15 and is
composed of three instrumentsl: The next generation of HIRS HIRS/3),
the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit AMSU-A (based on former MSU),
and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit AMSU-B. Detailed ATOVS instrument
information can be found in the NOAA KLM Polar
Orbiter Users Guide
Very High Resolution Radiometer AVHRR is a broad-band, four-to-five
channel (depending on the model) scanner, sensing in the visible,
near-infrared, and thermal infrared portions of the electromagnetic
spectrum. This sensor is carried on NOAA's Polar Orbiting Environmental
Satellites (POES), beginning with TIROS-N in 1978.
Very High Resolution Radiometer This sensor is a multi-spectral
imaging instrument to support many different applications. AVHRR/3
is the latest version for flight from NOAA-K onwards on the USA satellites
(launched in May 1998) and on EUMETSAT's Metop satellite (launched
in October 2006). It is the
standard instrument for global vegetation mapping at about 1 km resolution,
and also monitors sea surface temperatures and ice cover.
Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations was launched
on April 28, 2006 to study the impact of clouds and aerosols on the
Earth's radiation budget and climate. CALIPSO combines an active lidar
instrument (CALIOP) with passive infrared and visible imagers (IIR
and WFC) to probe the vertical structure and properties of thin clouds
and aerosols over the globe. It flies in formation with five other
satellites in the international Afternoon or "A-Train" constellation
for coincident Earth observations.
Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere CRISTA
is a limb-scanning satellite experiment, designed and developed by
the University of Wuppertal to measure infrared emissions of the earth's
atmosphere. The design enables observations of small scale dynamical
structures in the 15-150 km altitude region. CRISTA has successfully
completed two missions: CRISTA 1 was launched on November 3, 1994
on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Measurements were obtained from November
4-12, 1994. CRISTA 2, launched on August 7, 1997 with STS-85 Discovery,
made measurements between August 8-16.
Ozone Monitoring Experiment This instrument was launched on
April 21, 1995 on board the second European Remote Sensing Satellite
(ERS-2). It can measure a range of atmospheric trace constituents,
with an emphasis on global ozone distribution.
Ozone Monitoring Experiment II This
sensor is one of the European instruments carried on MetOp and launched
in October 2006. GOME II will continue the long-term monitoring of
atmospheric ozone started by GOME on ERS-2 and SCIAMACHY on Envisat.
GOME-2 will also measure other trace gases such as NO2
Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars This sensor is flown
on the European environmental satellite ENVISAT since the end of 2001.
The main scientific objective is to monitor ozone and ozone trends
in the stratosphere and mesosphere.
Occultation Experiment This sensor has been flying on UARS
(Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite), beginning scientific observations
on October 11, 1991. It measures the vertical distribution of hydrofloric
and hydrochloric acids, methane, carbon dioxide, ozone, water vapor,
and members of the nitrogen family.
Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder
This instrument was launched in July 2004 on board EOS-Aura.
Its main goal is to observe global distribution
of temperature and concentrations of O3, H2O, CH4, N2O, NO2, HNO3,
N2O5, CFC11, CFC12, ClONO2, and aerosols in the upper troposphere,
stratosphere, and mesosphere.
Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer The first flight model
of IASI was launched in October 2006 onboard the first European
meteorological polar-orbiting satellites, METOP-A. IASI will deliver
temperature, moisture and ozone profile information for the upper
Atmospheric Sounder This instrument is part of NASA's Atmospheric
Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) Spacelab shuttle mission.
MAS flew first in 1992 on the ATLAS-1 mission (March 24 - April 2)
and had a second flight on ATLAS-2 in 1993 (April 8 - April 17). During
its third flight in 1994 (November 3- November 14) MAS had a failure
in its data processing unit after 10 hours of operation.
Resolution Imaging Spectrometer This sensor is part of the
core instrument payload of ESA's environmental satellite ENVISAT,
launched at the end of 2001.
Humidity Sounder This sensor is one of the European instruments
carried on MetOp and launched in October 2006.
MHS provides a detailed picture of atmospheric humidity with the different
channels relating to different altitudes.
Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding This sensor
is flying on the European environmental satellite ENVISAT since the
end of 2001. Designed as a high-resolution limb sounder, it provides
detailed insights into the chemistry of the atmosphere by observing
emission spectra in the near- to mid-infrared.
Imaging SpectroRadiometer MISR was launched on December 18
1999, onboard the Terra satellite as part of NASA's EOS (Earth Observing
System) program. This instrument provides a unique opportunity for
studying the ecology and climate of Earth through the acquisition
of global multiangle imagery on the daylit side of Earth.
Limb Sounder This instrument was launched in July 2004 on board
EOS-Aura. MLS will continue the long-term record of atmospheric compositions
measurements (vertical profiles of O3,HCl,
ClO, HOCl, BrO, OH, H2O,
HO2, HNO33 N2O,
CO, HCN, volcanic SO2, cloud ice, geopotential
height and temperature of the atmosphere) made by the UARS sensors.
Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. MODIS is the key instrument
aboard the Terra (EOS AM-1) satellite. Terra MODIS is viewing the
entire Earth's surface every 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral
bands. That data will improve our understanding of global dynamics
and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower
atmosphere. MODIS plays a vital role in the development of validated,
global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change
accurately enough to assist policy makers in making decisions. For
further information see the MODIS homepage.
of Pollution In The Troposphere MOPITT was launched in December
18 1999, on board the Terra satellite as part of NASA's EOS (Earth
Observing System) program. MOPITT provides column densities for CO,
The goal of the MOPITT experiment is to enhance our knowledge of the
lower atmosphere system and particularly how it interacts with the
Monitoring Instrument This instrument was launched in July
2004 on board EOS-Aura. OMI monitors the recovery of the ozone layer
in response to the phase out of chemicals, such as CFCs. Together
with its companion instruments MLS
it will measure criteria pollutants such as O3,
|POAM II III
Ozone and Aerosol Measurement The POAM instrument was developed
by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to measure the vertical distribution
of atmospheric ozone, water vapor, nitrogen dioxide, aerosol extinction,
and temperature. POAM II was launched aboard the French SPOT-3 satellite
in September, 1993. The currently operational POAM III was subsequently
launched on the SPOT-4 satellite in March, 1998.
||SABER (Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry) is one of four instruments on NASA's Timed (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) mission. SABER enhances knowledge of the radiation budget, it measures the vertical distribution of ozone, water vapor and carbon and provides new information about how temperature, density and pressure change with altitude. During the mission, SABER will produce a global picture of how the MLTI (Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere / Ionosphere) region changes over time.
Aerosol and Gas Experiment I, II and III The first instrument
was launched in February, 1979 aboard the Applications Explorer Mission-B
(AEM-B) satellite. The SAGE II sensor was launched in October 5, 1984.
The last version was launched on December 10, 2001. The primary scientific
objective of all three SAGE missions was to obtain high quality, upper
tropospheric/stratospheric profile measurements of key components,
such as ozone, NO2, NO3,
OClO, H2O and aerosol extinction,
and to monitor long-term trends.
Backscatter Ultraviolet SBUV was on board the NIMBUS-7 spacecraft
launched in October 1978. Slight modifications were made to this instrument
(deemed SBUV/2) and NOAA has been using it as their ozone column monitoring
instrument since the launch of NOAA-9 in December 1984. The SBUV instrument
measures the Solar irradiance and Earth radiance in the near ultraviolet
Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography
This atmospheric sensor is flown on the European environmental satellite
ENVISAT since the end of 2001. It measures atmospheric absorption
in spectral bands from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, providing
knowledge about the composition, dynamics and radiation balance of
Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager This Instrument observes
aboard Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) from a geostationary orbit
with improved performance compared to its Meteosat predecessors. Meteosat
Second Generation (MSG) is a cooperative programme between EUMETSAT
(European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites)
and ESA (European Space Agency).
Emission Spectrometer This instrument was launched in July
2004 on board EOS-Aura. The primary objective of TES is to make global,
three-dimensional measurements of ozone and other chemical species
and surface temperature.
Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager TRMM (launched
in November, 1997) is a joint project between Japan and the United
States in 1986. TMI is able to quantify the water vapor, cloud water,
and rainfall intensity in the atmosphere.
Ozone Mapping Spectrometer This atmospheric sensor has been
flying on different missions within NASA's Earth Probes Program. The
objective is to extend the global ozone data set that began in 1978
with the flight of TOMS on NIMBUS-7.
and Infrared Scanner This scanner is one of the primary instruments
flown aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observatory.
It was launched in November 1997. VIRS is one of the three instruments
in the rain-measuring package and will serve as a very indirect indicator
of rainfall and even more importantly serve as a transfer standard
to other measurements that are made routinely using POES and GOES
WINDII (Wind Imaging Interferometer) measures wind, temperature, and emission rate in the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere (80 to 300 km)
from observations of the Earth's airglow. Measurements are made both day and night providing global coverage of this region of the atmosphere.
WINDII was launched on the NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite on 12 September 1991 and operated until June 2004.