THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - AVHRR/3 -
Full Name Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/3 Status Operational
Instrument Agencies EUMETSAT, NOAA Maturity High Heritage - Operational
Instrument Type Imaging multi-spectral radiometers (vis/IR) Geometry Cross-track scanning
Instrument Technology Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer Sampling Imaging
Data Access Data Format
Measurements and Applications Measurements of land and sea surface temperature, cloud cover, snow and ice cover, soil moisture and vegetation indices. Data also used for volcanic eruption monitoring.
Resolution Summary 1.1 km
[Best Resolution: 1100m]
Swath Summary 3000 km approx, Ensures full global coverage twice daily
Accuracy Summary
Waveband Summary VIS: 0.58 - 0.68 µm, NIR: 0.725 - 1.1 µm, SWIR: 1.58 - 1.64 µm, MWIR: 3.55 - 3.93 µm, TIR: 10.3 - 11.3 µm, 11.5 - 12.5 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)
FIR (~15.0 µm - ~0.1 cm)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
AerosolsAerosol optical depth (TC) 
Aerosol effective radius (column/profile) 
Volcanic ash 
Aerosol absorption optical depth (TC) 
Albedo and reflectanceFractionally absorbed PAR (FPAR) 
Earth surface albedo 
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperatureCloud imagery 
Cloud cover 
Liquid water and precipitation ratePrecipitation rate (liquid) at the surface 
Multi-purpose imagery (land)Fire area 
Land surface imagery 
Multi-purpose imagery (ocean)Ocean imagery and water leaving radiance 
Radiation budgetUpwelling (Outgoing) long-wave radiation at TOA 
Downwelling (Incoming) short-wave radiation at the Earth surface 
Short-wave Earth surface bi-directional reflectance 
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice cover 
Sea-ice thickness 
Snow cover, edge and depthSnow cover 
Surface temperature (land)Land surface temperature 
Surface temperature (ocean)Sea surface temperature 
VegetationNormalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI) 
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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