THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Snow and Ice >
Sea ice cover, edge and thickness >
Sea-ice cover


Measurement Definition*: Fraction of ice in an ocean area - Physical unit: [ % ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].

Thematic Links
InstrumentStatus/
Accuracy
Instrument DescriptionMeasurement TechnologyTimeline
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
AIRS
Atmospheric Infra-red Sounder
Operational
High spectral resolution measurement of temperature and humidity profiles in the atmosphere. Long-wave Earth surface emissivity. Cloud diagnostics. Trace gas profiles. Surface temperatures.n/a
AMSR2
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2
Operational
+/-8 %
Measurements of water vapour, cloud liquid water, precipitation, winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, snow cover, soil moisture.Multi-purpose imaging MW 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
ASCAT
Advanced Scatterometer
Operational
Measures wind speed and direction over ocean, soil moisture, sea ice cover, sea ice type, snow cover and snow parameters and vegetation parametersn/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.High resolution optical imager
ATMS
Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder
Operational
Collects microwave radiance data that when combined with the CrIS data will permit calculation of atmospheric temperature and water vapour profiles.n/a
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
C-Band SAR
C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
Marine core services, land monitoring and emergency services. Monitoring sea ice zones and arctic environment. Surveillance of marine environment, monitoring land surface motion risks, mapping of land surfaces (forest, water and soil, agriculture), mapping in support of humanitarian aid in crisis situations.Imaging radar (SAR)
CSG SAR
COSMO-SkyMed di Seconda Generazione SAR
Operational
All-weather images of ocean, land and ice for monitoring of land surface processes, ice, environmental monitoring, risk management, environmental resources, maritime management, Earth topographic mapping.Imaging radar (SAR)
CZI
Coastal Zone Imager
Operational
Imagery of coastal regions - estuaries, tidal regions, etc.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
ETM+
Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus
Operational
Measures surface radiance and emittance, land cover state, and change (e.g., vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.High resolution optical imager
Geoton-L1 (2)
Geoton-L1
Operational
Multispectral images of land surfaces and Oceans.High resolution optical imager
HSI-2 (HJ-2A)
Hyper Spectrum Imager 2
Operational
Hyperspectral measurements for environment and disaster management operations.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
KShMSA-SR
Medium resolution wide capture multispectral optical sensor
Operational
Land surface and ocean monitoringMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
MBEI
Multi-Band Earth Imager
Operational
Multispectral scanner images of land surface.High resolution optical imager
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-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
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
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.Multi-purpose imaging MW radiometer
OLI
Operational Land Imager
Operational
Measures surface radiance, land cover state, and change (e.g., vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.High resolution optical imager
OLI-2
Operational Land Imager 2
Operational
Measures surface radiance, land cover state, and change (e.g., vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.High resolution optical imager
PALSAR-2
Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar-2
Operational
Disaster monitoring, land monitoring, agricultural monitoring, natural resource exploration, global forest monitoring, potential use and interferometry.Imaging radar (SAR)
PSS
Panchromatic imaging system
Operational
Panchromatic data for environmental monitoring, agriculture and forestry.High resolution optical imager
RAD
Microwave radiometer
Operational
Ocean wind and temperature measurements.Multi-purpose imaging MW radiometer
SAR (RADARSAT-2)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) C band
Operational
All-weather images of ocean, ice and land surfaces. Used for monitoring of coastal zones, polar ice, sea ice, sea state, geological features, vegetation and land surface processes.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR (RCM)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) C band
Operational
All-weather, C-band data to support ecosystem monitoring, maritime surveillance and disaster management.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR (RISAT)
Synthetic Aperature Radiometer (RISAT)
Operational
Radar backscatter measurements of land, water and ocean surfaces for applications in soil moisture, crop applications (under cloud cover), terrain mapping, etc.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR 2000
Synthetic Aperture Radar - 2000
Operational
All-weather images of ocean, land and ice for monitoring of land surface processes, ice, environmental monitoring, risk management, environmental resources, maritime management, Earth topographic mapping.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR-L
L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
Land, ocean, emergencies, soil moisture, interferometry, others.Imaging radar (SAR)
S-band SAR
S-band SAR
Operational
SAR imagery for a range of applications including agriculture, maritime and forestryImaging radar (SAR)
Severyanin-M
Severyanin-M
Operational
Land and sea surface monitoringImaging radar (SAR)
SGLI
Second-generation Global Imager
Operational
+/-7 %
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
SGR-ReSI-Z
Space GNSS Receiver - Remote Sensing Instrument - Z
Operational
Ocean winds, waves, soil moisture, flooding, ice, snown/a
SRAL
SAR Radar Altimeter
Operational
Marine and land services.n/a
TIRS
Thermal Infrared Sensor
Operational
Measures longwave thermal infrared surface emittance, land cover state, and change. Used as multipurpose imagery for land applications.n/a
TIRS-2
Thermal Infrared Sensor 2
Operational
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
X-Band SAR
X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
High resolution images for monitoring of land surface and coastal processes and for agricultural, geological and hydrological applications.Imaging radar (SAR)
AMSR3
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 3
Being developed
Measurements of water vapour, cloud liquid water, precipitation including snowfall, winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, snow cover, soil moisture.Multi-purpose imaging MW radiometer
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
Imaging Microwave Radiometer
Imaging Microwave Radiometer
Being developed
A conical scanning total power radiometer operating in 5 bands (L/C/X/Ku/Ka) to provide high-spatial resolution microwave imaging radiometry measurements and derived products with continuous global coverage and sub-daily revisit in the polar regions and adjacent seasMulti-purpose imaging MW radiometer
IRIS
Interferometric Radar Altimeter for Ice and Snow
Being developed
Ku-band Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter (with added Ka-band channel for snow depth retrieval and in combination with AMR-CR MW Radiometer for ice&snow classification and wet troposphere correction) to cover the needs for continuous monitoring of the sea ice thickness and land ice elevation measurement after Cryosat-2 with enhanced performance.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
MWS
Microwave Sounder
Being developed
All-weather night-day temperature soundingn/a
OPS (Pan, Multi)
Wide-swath and high-resolution optical imager (Pan, Multi)
Being developed
Disaster monitoring, map generation, land monitoring, agricultural monitoring, natural resource exploration, forest monitoring.High resolution optical imager
PALSAR-3
Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar-3
Being developed
Disaster monitoring, land monitoring, agricultural monitoring, natural resource exploration, global forest monitoring, potential use and interferometry.Imaging radar (SAR)
BRLK S-range
S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Approved
Disaster monitoring, sea surface monitoring, information support of environmental managmentImaging radar (SAR)
Kasatka-R
Kasatka-R
Approved
Disaster monitoring, sea surface monitoring, information support of environmental managmentImaging radar (SAR)
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
Advanced SAR
Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar X band
Proposed
High resolution microwave radar images for ice watch.Imaging radar (SAR)
LandIS
Landsat Next Instrument Suite
Proposed
Measures surface radiance, land cover state and change (e.g., vegetation type), and longwave termal infrared surface emittance. Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.High resolution optical imager
L-Band SAR
L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Proposed
Global observation of dynamic processes in the bio-, cryo-, geo- and hydrosphere.Imaging radar (SAR)
MTVZA-GY-MP
Advanced Scanning microwave imager-sounder
Proposed
Atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, precipitation, sea-level wind speed, snow/ice coverage.n/a
WSAR
WSAR
Proposed
High resolution radar measurements of land and ocean features.Imaging radar (SAR)
AMSR-E
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS
No longer operational
+/-10 %
Measurements of water vapour, cloud liquid water, precipitation, winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, snow cover and soil moisture. Instrument stopped functioning 4th October 2011.Multi-purpose imaging MW radiometer
* Description adapted from WMO.
Copyright CEOS | About | Site Search | Report an Issue Researched and written by Symbios