THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - AMSU-A -
Full Name Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A Status Operational
Instrument Agencies NOAA, UKSA Maturity High Heritage - Operational
Instrument Type Atmospheric temperature and humidity sounders Geometry Cross-track scanning
Instrument Technology Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer Sampling Sounding
Data Access Data Format
Measurements and Applications All-weather night-day temperature sounding to an altitude of 45 km.
Resolution Summary 48 km
Swath Summary 2054 km
Accuracy Summary Temperature profile: 2 K, humidity: 3 kg/m2, ice & snow cover: 10%
Waveband Summary Microwave: 15 channels, 23.8 - 89.0 GHz
MW (~1.0 cm - ~100 cm)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
Atmospheric Humidity FieldsAtmospheric specific humidity (TC) 
Atmospheric Temperature FieldsAtmospheric temperature (LT, HT, LS, HS&M, TC) 
Height of tropopause 
Temperature of tropopause 
Cloud particle properties and profileCloud liquid water (TC) 
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperatureCloud type 
Liquid water and precipitation ratePrecipitation rate (liquid) at the surface 
Ocean surface windsWind speed over sea surface (horizontal) 
Radiation budgetLong-wave Earth surface emissivity 
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice cover 
Snow cover, edge and depthSnow cover 
Snow water equivalent 
Soil moistureSoil moisture at the surface 
Surface temperature (land)Land surface temperature 
Instrument Missions
NOAA-15 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - 15 (1998 - 2016)
NOAA-16 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - 16 (2000 - 2014)
NOAA-17 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - 17 (2002 - 2013)
NOAA-18 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - 18 (2005 - 2016)
Metop-A - Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite - A (2006 - 2019)
NOAA-19 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - 19 (2009 - 2016)
Metop-B - Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite - B (2012 - 2024)
Metop-C - Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite - C (2018 - 2023)
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