BackForwardInstrument:  MODIS 

Instrument details
Acronym MODIS
Full name Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer
Purpose Multi-purpose imagery
Short description 36-channel VIS/IR spectro-radiometer [see detailed characteristics below]
Background New development
Scanning Technique Swath 2230 km.  Whiskbroom scanning: a strip of 19.7 km width along-track is cross-track scanned every 2.956 s.  The strip includes 16 parallel lines sampled by 2048 pixel of 1000 m s.s.p., or 32 parallel lines sampled by 4096 pixel of 500 m s.s.p., or 64 parallel lines sampled by 8192 pixel of 250 m s.s.p.
Resolution IFOV: 0.25 km (two channels), 0.5 km (5 channels), 1.0 km (29 channels) – See table
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage nearly twice/day (long-wave channels) or once/day (short-wave channels)
Mass 250 kg Power 225 W Data Rate 6.2 Mbps

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2000-02-23 to ≥2017
Last update: 2016-09-20
Detailed characteristics
Central wavelength Bandwidth SNR or NEΔT at specified input spectral radiance IFOV at s.s.p.
645 nm 50 nm 128 @ 21.8 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 250 m
858 nm 35 nm 201 @ 24.7 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 250 m
469 nm 20 nm 243 @ 35.3 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 500 m
555 nm 20 nm 228 @ 29.0 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 500 m
1240 nm 20 nm 74 @ 5.4 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 500 m
1640 nm 24 nm 275 @ 7.3 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 500 m
2130 nm 50 nm 110 @ 1.0 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 500 m
412 nm 15 nm 880 @ 44.9 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
443 nm 10 nm 838 @ 41.9 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
488 nm 10 nm 802 @ 32.1 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
531 nm 10 nm 754 @ 27.9 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
551 nm 10 nm 750 @ 21.0 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
667 nm 10 nm 910 @ 9.5 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
678 nm 10 nm 1087 @ 8.7 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
748 nm 10 nm 586 @ 10.2 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
870 nm 15 nm 516 @ 6.2 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
905 nm 30 nm 167 @ 10.0 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
936 nm 10 nm 57 @ 3.6 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
940 nm 50 nm 250 @ 15.0 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
1375 nm 30 nm 150 @ 6.0 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
3.750 µm 0.180 µm 0.05 K @ 0.45 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
3.959 µm 0.060 µm 2.00 K @ 2.38 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
3.959 µm 0.060 µm 0.07 K @ 0.67 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
4.050 µm 0.060 µm 0.07 K @ 0.79 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
4.515 µm 0.165 µm 0.25 K @ 0.17 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
4.515 µm 0.067 µm 0.25 K @ 0.59 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
6.715 µm 0.360 µm 0.25 K @ 1.16 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
7.325 µm 0.300 µm 0.25 K @ 2.18 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
8.550 µm 0.300 µm 0.25 K @ 9.58 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
9.730 µm 0.300 µm 0.25 K @ 3.69 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
11.030 µm 0.500 µm 0.05 K @ 9.55 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
12.020 µm 0.500 µm 0.05 K @ 8.94 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
13.335 µm 0.300 µm 0.25 K @ 4.52 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
13.635 µm 0.300 µm 0.25 K @ 3.76 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
13.935 µm 0.300 µm 0.25 K @ 3.11 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
14.235 µm 0.300 µm 0.35 K @ 2.08 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 1000 m
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
Show allShow fewer
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), NIR and SWIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol effective radius5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth), NIR (including 760 nm for high-level aerosol), and SWIR channels
Aerosol mass mixing ratio4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth), NIR and SWIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol Optical Depth3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth), NIR and SWIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol type4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth), NIR and SWIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Atmospheric temperature4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Coarse vertical resolution.MWIR in the CO2 band around 4.3 micrometers; TIR in the CO2 band around 15 micrometers. Supporting retrieval of other variables
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 radius4 - fairAt cloud top.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR, SWIR and MWIR channels (for differentiation)
Cloud ice effective radius4 - fairAt cloud top.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR, SWIR and MWIR channels (for differentiation)
Cloud optical depth3 - highLow-density cloud only.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Cloud top height2 - very highNo specific limitation.TIR channels in window and water vapour band (for emissivity) for temperature; and in CO2 band for atmospheric column above cloud top
Cloud top temperature2 - very highNo specific limitation.TIR channels in window and water vapour band (for emissivity)
Cloud type1 - primaryNo specific limitation.VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and TIR 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 surface4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Highly indirect.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Downward long-wave irradiance at Earth surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Highly indirect.MWIR and TIR channels including water vapour and CO2 bands
Earth surface albedo4 - fairCloud sensitive.VIS channels
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
Fraction of Absorbed PAR (FAPAR)2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS channels including Red at 700 nm
Land surface temperature3 - highCloud sensitive.MWIR and TIR window channels (high sensitivity to high temperature, cloud impact reduction, water vapour 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
O3 (Total column)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.TIR channel(s). Ozone lines in band around 9.7 micrometers
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 surface temperature2 - very highCloud sensitive.MWIR and TIR window channels around 3.7 and 11 micrometers (cloud impact reduction, water vapour correction)
Sea-ice cover1 - primaryCloud sensitive.VIS, NIR (for contour enhancement), SWIR (for discrimination from clouds), MWIR and TIR channels
Short-wave cloud reflectance4 - fairNo specific limitation.VIS and NIR channels
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
Specific humidity4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Coarse vertical resolution.NIR and TIR channels in water vapour bands around 940 nm and 6.3 micrometers
Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)2 - very highCloud sensitive.NIR and TIR channels around 940 nm, 6.3 micrometers and in the 11 micrometers split window
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA4 - fairSpectral interpolation needed.. Information on BRDF needed.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Upward long-wave irradiance at TOA3 - highSpectral interpolation needed.MWIR and TIR channels in windows around 3.7 and 11 micrometers, and in water vapour and CO2 bands around 4,3, 6.3 and 15 micrometers
Upward long-wave irradiance at Earth surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Highly indirect.MWIR and TIR channels in windows around 3.7 and 11 micrometers, and in the water vapour band around 6.3 micrometers
Aerosol volcanic ash4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels including 760 nm for high-level ashes
Aerosol volcanic ash (Total column)3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels including 760 nm for high-level ashes
Wind (horizontal)4 - fairCloud or water vapour tracers needed.. Polar regions only.TIR channels in the 11 micrometers window and the 6.3 micrometers water vapour band