THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - MODIS -
Full Name MODerate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Status Operational
Instrument Agencies NASA 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 HDF-EOS
Measurements and Applications Data on biological and physical processes on the surface of the Earth and in the lower atmosphere, and on global dynamics. Surface temperatures of land and ocean, chlorophyll fluorescence, land cover measurements, cloud cover (day and night).
Resolution Summary Cloud cover: 250 m (day) and 1000 m (night), Surface temperature: 1000 m
[Best Resolution: 250m]
Swath Summary 2330 km
[Max Swath: 2330 km]
Accuracy Summary Long wave radiance: 100 nW/m2, Short wave radiance: 5%, Surface temperature of land: <1 K, Surface temperature of ocean: <0.2 K, Snow and ice cover: 10%
Waveband Summary VIS - TIR: 36 bands in range 0.4 - 14.4 µm
VIS (~0.40 µm - ~0.75 µm)
NIR (~0.75 µm - ~1.3 µm)
SWIR (~1.3 µm - ~3.0 µm)
MWIR (~3.0 µm - ~6.0 µm)
TIR (~6.0 µm - ~15.0 µm)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
AerosolsAerosol optical depth (column/profile) 
Aerosol effective radius (column/profile) 
Albedo and reflectancePhotosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) 
Fractionally absorbed PAR (FPAR) 
Earth surface albedo 
Atmospheric Humidity FieldsAtmospheric specific humidity (TC) 
Atmospheric Temperature FieldsAtmospheric temperature (LT, HT) 
Atmospheric stability index 
Cloud particle properties and profileCloud ice content (at cloud top) 
Cloud drop size (at cloud top) 
Cloud optical depth 
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperatureCloud imagery 
Cloud cover 
Cloud top height 
Cloud top temperature 
Multi-purpose imagery (land)Fire area 
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) 
OzoneOzone profile 
Radiation budgetLong-wave Earth surface emissivity 
Diffuse attenuation coefficient (DAC) 
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice cover 
Snow cover, edge and depthSnow cover 
Surface temperature (land)Land surface temperature 
Fire temperature 
Surface temperature (ocean)Sea surface temperature 
VegetationNormalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI) 
Leaf Area Index (LAI) 
Vegetation type 
Land cover 
Instrument Missions
Terra - Terra (formerly EOS AM-1) (1999 - 2017)
Aqua - Aqua (formerly EOS PM-1) (2002 - 2017)
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