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


Measurement Definition*: Result of cloud type classification - Accuracy expressed as number of classes. Actually [ classes-1 ] is used, so that smaller figure corresponds to better performance, as usual.
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
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
AMSU-A
Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A
Operational
All-weather night-day temperature sounding to an altitude of 45 km.n/a
AMSU-A
Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A
Operational
All-weather night-day temperature sounding to an altitude of 45 km. AMSU-A on Aqua is still partially operational, with 9 of the 15 channels working and collecting data.n/a
ASTER
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
Operational
Surface and cloud imaging with high spatial resolution, stereoscopic observation of local topography, cloud heights, volcanic plumes, and generation of local surface digital elevation maps. Surface temperature and emissivity. ASTER SWIR detectors are no longer functioning due to anomalously high SWIR detector temperatures. ASTER SWIR data acquired since April 2008 are not useable, and show saturation of values and severe striping. All attempts to bring the SWIR bands back to life have failed, and no further action is envisioned.n/a
ATLAS
Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System
Operational
Provide date on ice sheet height and sea ice thickness, land altitude, aerosol height distributions, cloud height and boundary layer height.n/a
CPR (CloudSat)
Cloud Profiling Radar
Operational
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
HSI (HJ-1A)
Hyper Spectrum Imager
Operational
Hyperspectral measurements for environment and disaster management operations.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
IKFS-2
IR-Fourier spectrometer
Operational
Atmospheric temperature/humidity profiles, data on cloud parameters, water vapour & ozone column amounts, surface temperature.n/a
MADRAS
Microwave Analysis and Detection of Rain and Atmospheric Structures
Operational
To estimate rainfall, atmospheric water parameters and ocean surface winds in the equatorial belt.n/a
MHS
Microwave Humidity Sounder
Operational
Atmospheric humidity profiles, cloud cover, cloud liquid, water content, ice boundaries and precipitation data. MHS on NOAA-18 is considered failed following an anomaly on 21 October 2018.n/a
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
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-IK-SR
Multi-channel medium and far IR range radiometer
Operational
Parameters of clouds, snow, ice and land cover, vegetation, surface temperature, fire detection.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MTVZA-GY
Scanning microwave imager-sounder
Operational
Atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, precipitation, sea-level wind speed, snow/ice coverage.n/a
MWRI
Micro-Wave Radiation Imager
Operational
All weather observations of precipitation, cloud features, vegetation, soil moisture sea ice, etc.n/a
OLS
Operational Linescan System
Operational
Day and night cloud cover imagery.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
OMI
Ozone Measuring Instrument
Operational
Mapping of ozone columns, key air quality components (NO2, SO2, BrO, OClO and aerosols), measurements of cloud pressure and coverage, global distribution and trends in UV-B radiation.n/a
PAN (CBERS-4)
Panchromatic and Multispectral Imager
Operational
Agriculture; Forestry; Geology; Natural disaster management; Cartography; Environment monitoring; Fire detection, localization and counting; Hydrology, coastal water mapping; Land use; Surveillance and law enforcementn/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
SGLI
Second-generation Global Imager
Operational
+/-0
Medium resolution multi-spectral imaging of land, ocean and atmosphere. SGLI-VNR is an optical sensor capable of multi-channel nadir observation at wavelengths from near-UV to NIR and forward or backward polarization observation at red and near infrared wavelengths (Push-broom scanning). SGLI-IRS is an optical sensor capable of multi-channel nadir observation at wavelengths from SWIR to TIR wavelengths (Cross-track scanning).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
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
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
MVIRS
Moderate Resolution Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectroradiometer
Approved
Measures surface temperature and cloud and ice cover. Used for snow and flood monitoring and surface temperature.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
IKFS-3
Advanced Fourier spectrometer
Proposed
Atmospheric temperature/humidity profiles, data on cloud parameters, water vapour & ozone column amounts, surface temperature.n/a
MTVZA-GY-MP
Advanced Scanning microwave imager-sounder
Proposed
Atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, precipitation, sea-level wind speed, snow/ice coverage.n/a
* Description adapted from WMO.
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