THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Atmosphere >
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperature >
Cloud imagery


Measurement Definition*: Intended for observation of features like cloud occurrence, pattern, frontal bands, cyclones, volcanic ash plumes.
InstrumentStatus/
Accuracy
Instrument DescriptionMeasurement TechnologyTimeline
ABI
Advanced Baseline Imager
Operational
Detects clouds, cloud properties, water vapour, land and sea surface temperatures, dust, aerosols, volcanic ash, fires, total ozone, snow and ice cover, vegetation index.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
Advanced MI
Advanced Meteorological Imager
Operational
Continuous monitoring capability for the near real-time generation of high-resolution meteorological products and long-term change analysis of sea surface temperature and cloud coverage.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
AGRI
Advanced Geosynchronous Radiation Imager
Operational
A multiple channel radiation imager, one of the primary instruments aboard FY-4. Technically featured by a precisely designed two-mirror structure, capable of accurate and flexible sensing in two dimensions, and minute-level fast sector scanning. Frequent Earth imaging over 14 bands with off-axis three reflections of the primary optic system. On-board black body available for IR calibrations at very short time intervals.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
AHI
Advanced Himawari Imager
Operational
Measures cloud cover, cloud motion, cloud height, cloud properties, water vapour, rainfalll, sea surface temperatures and Earth radiation, dust, aerosols, volcanic ash, fires, snow and ice cover.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
AVHRR/3
Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/3
Operational
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.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
CPR (CloudSat)
Cloud Profiling Radar
Operational
+/-500 m
Primary goal to provide data needed to evaluate and improve the way clouds are represented in global climate models. Measures vertical profile of clouds.n/a
ETM+
Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus
Operational
Measures surface radiance and emittance, land cover state and change (eg vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.n/a
HSI (HJ-1A)
Hyper Spectrum Imager
Operational
Hyperspectral measurements for environment and disaster management operations.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
IIR
Imaging Infrared Radiometer
Operational
Radiometer optimised for combined IIR/lidar retrievals of cirrus particle size.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
Imager
Imager
Operational
Measures cloud cover, atmospheric radiance, winds, atmospheric stability, rainfall estimates. Used to provide severe storm warnings/ monitoring day and night (type, amount, storm features).Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
KMSS
Multispectral Imager (VIS) system
Operational
Multispectral images of land & sea surfaces and ice cover.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MI
Meteorological Imager
Operational
Continuous monitoring capability for the near real-time generation of high-resolution meteorological products and long-term change analysis of sea surface temperature and cloud coverage.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MISR
Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
Operational
Measurements of global surface albedo, aerosol and vegetation properties. Also provides multi-angle bidirectional data (1% angle-to-angle accuracy) for cloud cover and reflectances at the surface and aerosol opacities. Global and local modes.n/a
MODIS
MODerate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
Operational
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).n/a
MSU-GS
Multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Operational
Measurements of cloud cover, cloud top height, precipitation, cloud motion, albedo, vegetation, convection, air mass analysis, tropopause monitoring, stability monitoring, total ozone and surface temperature, fire detection.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MSU-MR
Low-resolution multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Operational
Parameters of clouds, snow, ice and land cover, vegetation, surface temperature, fire detection.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
OLI
Operational Land Imager
Operational
Measures surface radiance, land cover state and change (eg vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.n/a
ScaRaB
Scanner for Earth's Radiation Budget
Operational
Measures top-of-atmosphere shortwave radiation (0.2 - 4.0 µm) and total radiation (0.2 - 50 µm). Two additional narrow-band channels (0.5 - 0.7 µm and 11 - 12 µm) allow cloud detection and scene identification.n/a
SEVIRI
Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager
Operational
Measurements of cloud cover, cloud top height, precipitation, cloud motion, vegetation, radiation fluxes, convection, air mass analysis, cirrus cloud discrimination, tropopause monitoring, stability monitoring, total ozone and sea surface temperature.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
SHMSA-SR
Medium resolution wide capture multispectral optical sensor
Operational
Land surface and ocean monitoringMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
TIRS
Thermal Infrared Sensor
Operational
Measures surface emittance, lands cover state and change). Used as multipurpose imagery for land applications.n/a
VIIRS
Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite
Operational
Global observations of land, ocean, and atmosphere parameters: cloud/weather imagery, sea-surface temperature, ocean colour, land surface vegetation indices.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
VIRR
Multispectral Visible and Infra-red Scan Radiometer (10 channels)
Operational
Multispectral Visible and Infra-red Scan Radiometer.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
VISSR-2
Stretched Visible and Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer-2
Operational
Meteorological.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
WFC
Wide Field Camera
Operational
Scene ContextMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
CPR (EarthCARE)
Cloud Profiling Radar (EarthCARE)
Being developed
Measurement of cloud properties, light precipitation, vertical motion.n/a
FCI
Flexible Combined Imager
Being developed
Measurements of cloud cover, cloud top height, precipitation, cloud motion, vegetation, radiation fluxes, convection, air mass analysis, cirrus cloud discrimination, tropopause monitoring, stability monitoring, total ozone and sea surface temperature.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MAIA
Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols
Being developed
A pair of pushbroom spectropolarimetric cameras on a 2-axis gimbal for multiangle viewing, frequent revisits over targets, and inflight calibration. Major metropolitan areas are sampled with sub-km spatial resolution to study impacts of different types of particulate matter on human health.n/a
METimage
Multi Spectral Imager
Being developed
Operational multi spectral imager for meteorological EPS-SG VIS/IR Imaging Mission (VII): imagery data for global and regional NWP, NWC, and climate monitoringMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
OLI-2
Operational Land Imager-2
Being developed
Measures surface radiance, land cover state and change (e.g., vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.n/a
MSI (EarthCARE)
Multi-Spectral Imager (EarthCARE)
Approved
Observation of cloud properties and aerosol (aerosols to be confirmed).Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MSU-GS/VE
Multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Approved
Operational metrology, hydrology, climate monitoring and environmental monitoringMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
TIRS-2
Thermal Infrared Sensor - 2
Approved
Measures longwave thermal infrared surface emittance, land cover state and change. Used as multipurpose imagery for land applications. TIRS-2 will adhere to the Landsat 8 TIRS instrument performance specifications, but will be built to NASA Class-B instrument standards (including a 5-year design life).n/a
Advanced KMSS
Advanced Multispectral Imager (VIS)
Proposed
Multispectral images of land & sea surfaces and ice cover.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
Advanced MSU-MR
Advanced Multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Proposed
Parameters of clouds, snow, ice and land cover, vegetation, surface temperature, fire detection.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
Cloud Radar
Cloud radar (ACE)
Proposed
Radar measurement for cloud droplets and precipitation.n/a
SHMASR
Medium resolution wide capture multispectral optical sensor
Proposed
Land surface and ocean monitoringMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
* Description adapted from WMO.
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