BackForwardInstrument:  MSS 

Instrument details
Acronym MSS
Full name Multi-Spectral Scanner
Purpose High-resolution land and vegetation observation
Short description 4 VIS/NIR channels [see detailed characteristics below]
Background New development
Scanning Technique Wiskbroom; 2300 pixel/line; swath 185 km
Resolution 80 m IFOV
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage in 16 days, in daylight.
Mass 64 kg Power 50 W Data Rate 15 Mbps

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on operational programme
Utilization Period: 1972 to 2011-11-18
Last update: 2017-03-28
Detailed characteristics
Central wavelength Spectral interval SNR @ specified input spectral radiance
0.55 µm 0.50 - 0.60 µm 120 @ 248 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
0.65 µm 0.60 - 0.70 µm 90 @ 200 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
0.75 µm 0.70 - 0.80 µm 75 @ 176 W m-2 sr-1 μm-1
0.95 µm 0.80 - 1.10 µm 125 @ 153 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
  • High resolution optical imager
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Biomass
  • Fraction of vegetated land
  • Land cover
  • Leaf Area Index (LAI)
  • Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)
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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
Biomass5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. Biomass inferred from NDVI
Cloud cover5 - marginalInfrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Cloud optical depth5 - marginalLow-density cloud only.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Fraction of vegetated land2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Glacier cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Long time for mapping.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Land cover3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Leaf Area Index (LAI)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.. Infrequent coverage.VIS and NIR channels. LAI inferred from NDVI
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.VIS and NIR channels
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.VIS channels, range undersampled
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR (for contour enhancement) channels
Short-wave cloud reflectance5 - marginalInfrequent coverage.VIS and NIR channels. Unsuitable dynamic range (saturation)
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Soil moisture at surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. Soil moisture inferred from differential brightness
Soil type5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA5 - marginalSpectral interpolation needed.. Information on BRDF needed.. Infrequent coverage.VIS and NIR channels
Vegetation type4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Aerosol volcanic ash5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Aerosol volcanic ash (Total column)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels