Data & Products
Missions & Sensors
Viewing the sunlit Earth simultaneously at nine widely spaced angles, the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) provides ongoing global coverage with high spatial detail. Its imagery is carefully calibrated to provide accurate measures of the brightness, contrast, and color of reflected sunlight.
MISR provides new types of information, such as the partitioning of energy and carbon between the land surface and the atmosphere, and the regional and global impacts of different types of atmospheric particles and clouds on climate. The change in reflection at different view angles affords the means to distinguish different types of atmospheric particles (aerosols), cloud forms, and land surface covers. Combined with stereoscopic techniques, this enables construction of 3-D models and estimation of the total amount of sunlight reflected by Earth's diverse environments.
The MISR instrument is a part of EOS. Its role is to measure how much sunlight is scattered in different directions under natural conditions. This will help quantify the amount of solar energy that heats Earth's surface and atmosphere, and the changes that occur in these quantities over the six-year nominal lifetime of the MISR instrument.
MISR provides information on particles in the atmosphere, the planet's surface, and clouds. MISR will monitor changes in surface reflection properties, atmospheric aerosol content and composition, and in cloudiness. These data are used to study the effects of land use changes, air pollution, and volcanic eruptions, as well as processes such as desertification, deforestation, and soil erosion. As part of the EOS program, computer models that predict future climate will be improved by the results of these studies.
The instrument uses nine individual charge-coupled device-based pushbroom cameras to observe the Earth at nine discrete view angle: one at nadir, plus eight other symmetrical views at 26.1, 45.6, 60.0, and 70.5° forward and aftward of nadir. Images at each angle will be obtained in four spectral bands centered at 446, 558, 672, and 866 nm. MISR's 36 simultaneous spectral-angular images allow derivation of aerosol optical depth and particle type, characterization of scene type, surface albedo, and bi-directional reflectance, and information about cloud properties.
MISR Instrument Characteristics:
Data AccessGeneral Data Product Level Definition
Data from the MISR sensor are available at the NASA Langley Atmospheric Science Data Center.
The Terra Platform
Terra is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary mission involving partnerships with the aerospace agencies of Canada and Japan. Managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the mission also receives key contributions from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Langley Research Center. It is the flagship of the Earth Observing System, a series of spacecraft that represent the next landmark step in NASA's role to observe Earth from the unique vantage point of space. Focused of key measurements identified by a consensus of U.S. and international scientists, Terra enables new research into the ways that Earth's lands, oceans, air, ice, and life function as a total environmental system.
Additional information available at the Terra web site.
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