THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - MERIS -
Full Name Medium-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer Status No longer operational
Instrument Agencies ESA Maturity
Instrument Type Imaging multi-spectral radiometers (vis/IR) and Ocean colour instruments Geometry Cross-track scanning
Instrument Technology Medium-resolution spectro-radiometer Sampling Imaging
Data Access Open Access Data Format
Measurements and Applications Main objective is monitoring marine biophysical and biochemical parameters. Secondary objectives are related to atmospheric properties such as cloud and water vapour and to vegetation conditions on land surfaces.
Resolution Summary Ocean: 1040 x 1200 m, Land & coast: 260 x 300 m
[Best Resolution: 260m]
Swath Summary 1150 km, global coverage every 3 days
Accuracy Summary Ocean colour bands typical S:N = 1700
Waveband Summary VIS - NIR: 15 bands selectable across range: 0.4 - 1.05 µm (bandwidth programmable between 0.0025 and 0.03 µm)
VIS (~0.40 µm - ~0.75 µm)
NIR (~0.75 µm - ~1.3 µm)
MW (~1.0 cm - ~100 cm)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
AerosolsAerosol optical depth (column/profile) 
Albedo and reflectancePhotosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) 
Fractionally absorbed PAR (FPAR) 
Earth surface albedo 
Cloud particle properties and profileCloud liquid water (column/profile) 
Cloud optical depth 
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperatureCloud imagery 
Cloud type 
Cloud top height 
Multi-purpose imagery (land)Land surface imagery 
Multi-purpose imagery (ocean)Ocean imagery and water leaving radiance 
Ocean colour/biologyOcean chlorophyll concentration 
Ocean suspended sediment concentration 
Color dissolved organic matter (CDOM) 
Radiation budgetShort-wave Earth surface bi-directional reflectance 
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice cover 
Snow cover, edge and depthSnow cover 
VegetationVegetation type 
Instrument Missions
Envisat - Environmental Satellite (2002 - 2012)
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