BackForwardInstrument:  MSU 

Instrument details
Acronym MSU
Full name Microwave Sounding Unit
Purpose Nearly-all-weather atmospheric temperature profile
Short description 4-channel MW radiometer operating in the 54 GHz band [see detailed characteristics below]
Background Follow-on of NEMS flown on Nimbus-5 and SCAMS flown on Nimbus-6. Part of the TOVS package (TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder)
Scanning Technique Cross-track, step-and-dwell, 11 IFOV/line in 25.6 s, swath 2350 km
Resolution 110 km at s.s.p.
Coverage / Cycle Global, twice/day
Mass Power Data Rate 320 bps

 

Providing Agency NOAA
Instrument Maturity Flown on operational programme
Utilization Period: 1979 to 2007-08-10
Last update: 2012-09-14
Detailed characteristics

Central frequency (GHz)

Bandwidth (MHz)

Polarisation

NEΔT

50.30

200

V

0.3 K

53.74

200

V

0.3 K

54.96

200

V

0.3 K

57.95

200

V

0.3 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 microwave radiometer
  • Cross-track, special or non-scanning microwave radiometer
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Atmospheric temperature
Opportunity objectives
  • Freezing level height in clouds
  • Melting layer depth in clouds
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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
Atmospheric temperature3 - highVery coarse vertical resolution.A few MW channels in the 54 GHz band. Nearly all-weather sounding
Freezing level height in clouds4 - fairNo specific limitation.MW channels in the 54 GHz band. Inference from the temperature profile
Melting layer depth in clouds4 - fairNo specific limitation.MW channels in the 54 GHz band. Inference from the temperature profile