BackForwardInstrument:  MERIS 

Instrument details
Acronym MERIS
Full name Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer
Purpose Ocean colour, vegetation, aerosol, cloud properties
Short description 15-channel spectroradiometer, positions and bandwidths selectable [see detailed characteristics below]
Background New development
Scanning Technique Pushbroom, 3700 pixel/line (split in 5 parallel optical systems), total swath 1150 km
Resolution Basic IFOV 300 m, reduced resolution for global data recording: 1200 m
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage in 3 days, in daylight
Mass 200 kg Power 175 W Data Rate 24 Mbps

 

Providing Agency ESA
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 @ specified input spectral radiance
412.5 nm 10 nm 1871 @ 47.9 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
442.5 nm 10 nm 1650 @ 41.9 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
490 nm 10 nm 1418 @ 31.2 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
510 nm 10 nm 1222 @ 23.7 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
560 nm 10 nm 1156 @ 18.5 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
620 nm 10 nm 863 @ 12.0 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
665 nm 10 nm 708 @ 9.2 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
681.25 nm 7.5 nm 589 @ 8.3 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
708.75 nm 10 nm 631 @ 6.9 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
753.75 nm 7.5 nm 486 @ 5.6 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
760.625 nm 3.75 nm 205 @ 3.4 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
778.75 nm 15 nm 628 @ 4.9 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
865 nm 20 nm 457@ 3.2 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
885 nm 10 nm 271 @ 3.1 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
900 nm 10 nm 211 @ 2.4 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
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
  • Aerosol Optical Depth
  • Aerosol column burden
  • Biomass
  • Cloud cover
  • Cloud top height
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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
Aerosol column burden3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol effective radius5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol mass mixing ratio4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol Optical Depth3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol type4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Biomass5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. Biomass inferred from NDVI
Cloud cover5 - marginalDaylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Cloud optical depth4 - fairLow-density cloud only.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Cloud top height4 - fairDaylight only.NIR channels to estimate the total-column O2 above the cloud top as measured around 760 nm
Cloud type5 - marginalDaylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Colour Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM)1 - primaryCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwidth VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean and coastal zone
Downward short-wave irradiance at Earth surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Highly indirect.VIS and NIR channels
Earth surface albedo4 - fairCloud sensitive.VIS channels
Fire fractional cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.. Daylight only.VIS channels
Fraction of Absorbed PAR (FAPAR)2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS channels including Red at 700 nm
Leaf Area Index (LAI)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. LAI inferred from NDVI
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS and NIR channels
Ocean chlorophyll concentration 1 - primaryCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwidth VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean and coastal zone
Ocean Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient (DAC)1 - primaryCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwidth VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean and coastal zone
Ocean suspended sediments concentration1 - primaryCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwidth VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean and coastal zone
Oil spill cover3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channels with narrow bandwidth
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)3 - highCloud sensitive.VIS channels, range accurately sampled
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR (for contour enhancement) channels
Short-wave cloud reflectance4 - fairNo specific limitation.VIS and NIR channels
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Soil moisture at surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. Soil moisture inferred from differential brightness
Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.NIR channels in the ro-sigma-tau band of water vapour around 940 nm
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA5 - marginalSpectral interpolation needed.. Information on BRDF needed.VIS and NIR channels
Aerosol volcanic ash4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level ashes
Aerosol volcanic ash (Total column)3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level ashes