BackForwardInstrument:  AATSR 

Instrument details
Acronym AATSR
Full name Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer
Purpose Multi-purpose VIS/IR imagery, with emphasis on very accurate sea surface temperature for climate
Short description Two views (close-to-nadir and fore- for accurate atmospheric corrections), 7 channels, balanced VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and TIR, narrow swath [see detailed characteristics below]
Background Evolution of ATSR on ERS-1 and identical to ATSR-2 on ERS-2
Scanning Technique Conical oblique (cross-nadir and 47° fore); 2000 pixel of 1 km ssp; swath 500 km; scan rate 400 rpm
Resolution 1 km IFOV
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage in 3 days (IR) or 6 days (VIS)
Mass 101 kg Power 100 W Data Rate 625 kbps

 

Providing Agency UKSA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2002 to 2012-04-08
Last update: 2017-03-26
Detailed characteristics
Central wavelength Bandwidth SNR or NEΔT @ specified input
550 nm 20 nm 20 @ 0.5 % albedo
659 nm 20 nm 20 @ 0.5 % albedo
865 nm 20 nm 20 @ 0.5 % albedo
1610 nm 300 nm 20 @ 0.5 % albedo
3.70 µm 3.55 - 3.85 µm 0.08 K @ 270 K
10.85 µm 10.35 - 11.35 µm 0.05 K @ 270 K
12.00 µm 11.50 - 12.50 µm 0.05 K @ 270 K
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • Moderate resolution optical imager
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Cloud cover
  • Cloud optical depth
  • Cloud top height
  • Cloud top temperature
  • Cloud type
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Biomass4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels. Biomass inferred from NDVI and LAI
Cloud cover1 - primaryNo specific limitation.VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and TIR channels
Cloud drop effective radius3 - highAt cloud top.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR, SWIR and MWIR channels and different viewing angles (for differentiation).
Cloud ice effective radius3 - highAt cloud top.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR, SWIR and MWIR channels with different viewing angles (for differentiation).
Cloud optical depth3 - highLow-density cloud only.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels with different viewing angles
Cloud top height3 - highNo specific limitation.TIR window channels to estimate cloud top height from its temperature
Cloud top temperature3 - highNo specific limitation.TIR window channels
Cloud type1 - primaryNo specific limitation.VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and TIR channels
Downward short-wave irradiance at Earth surface4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Highly indirect.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Earth surface albedo2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS channels with many viewing angles to account for anisotropic reflectivity
Earth surface short-wave bidirectional reflectance3 - highCloud sensitive.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels with a few different viewing angles
Fire fractional cover3 - highCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.VIS, MWIR and TIR channels
Fire radiative power3 - highCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.MWIR and TIR channels
Fire temperature3 - highCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.MWIR and TIR channels
Land surface temperature2 - very highCloud sensitive.MWIR and TIR window channels with different viewing angles for atmospheric correction
Leaf Area Index (LAI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS and NIR channels
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)4 - fairCloud sensitive.VIS channels, range undersampled; a few different viewing angles for irradiance reconstruction
Sea surface temperature1 - primaryCloud sensitive.MWIR and TIR window channels around 3.7 and 11 micrometers with different viewing angles for atmospheric correction
Sea-ice cover1 - primaryCloud sensitive.VIS, NIR (for contour enhancement), SWIR (for discrimination from clouds), MWIR and TIR channels
Short-wave cloud reflectance3 - highNo specific limitation.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels with multi-viewing capability to account for anisotropical reflectance
Snow cover3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels, enabling screening snow from clouds
Soil moisture at surface4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Index only.VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and TIR channels. Soil moisture inferred from differential brightness and thermal inertia
Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Low troposphere dominant.TIR channels in the 11 micrometers split window
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA4 - fairSpectral interpolation needed.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels with multi-viewing capability to account for anisotropical reflectance
Aerosol volcanic ash5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels viewing under a few different angles
Aerosol volcanic ash (Total column)4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels with a few different viewing angles
Wind (horizontal)5 - marginalCloud or water vapour tracers needed.. Polar regions only.TIR channel(s) around 11 micrometers window