THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Snow and Ice >
Snow cover, edge and depth >
Snow cover


Measurement Definition*: Fraction of snow in a given 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
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
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
AWiFS
Advanced Wide Field Sensor
Operational
Vegetation and crop monitoring, resource assessment (regional scale), forest mapping, land cover/ land use mapping, and change detection.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.n/a
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.n/a
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
GSA (1)
Hyperspectral imaging equipment
Operational
Land surface monitoringn/a
HSI-2 (HJ-2A)
Hyper Spectrum Imager 2
Operational
Hyperspectral measurements for environment and disaster management operations.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
Imager (INSAT 3D)
Very High Resolution Radiometer
Operational
Cloud cover, severe storm warnings/monitoring day and night (type, amount, storm features), atmospheric radiance winds, atmospheric stability rainfall.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
KShMSA-VR
High resolution wide capture multispectral optical sensor
Operational
Land surface and ocean monitoringMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
LISS-III (Resourcesat)
Linear Imaging Self Scanner - III (Resourcesat)
Operational
Data used for vegetation type assessment, resource assessment, crop stress detection, crop production forecasting, forestry, land use and land cover change.High resolution optical imager
LISS-IV
Linear Imaging Self Scanner - IV
Operational
Vegetation monitoring, improved crop discrimination, crop yield, disaster monitoring and rapid assessment of natural resources.High resolution optical imager
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
MSS
Multispectral imaging system
Operational
Multispectral images of land & sea surfaces and ice cover.High resolution optical imager
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-GS/VE
Multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Operational
Operational metrology, hydrology, climate monitoring and environmental monitoringMulti-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
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
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
OLS
Operational Linescan System
Operational
Day and night cloud cover imagery.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
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.n/a
PSS
Panchromatic imaging system
Operational
Panchromatic data for environmental monitoring, agriculture and forestry.High resolution optical imager
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.n/a
SAR (RCM)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) C band
Operational
All-weather, C-band data to support ecosystem monitoring, maritime surveillance and disaster management.n/a
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.n/a
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.n/a
SAR-L
L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
Land, ocean, emergencies, soil moisture, interferometry, others.n/a
SAR-X
Synthetic Aperature Radiometer (RISAT-2)
Operational
For disaster management applications.n/a
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
SSM/I
Special Sensor Microwave Imager
Operational
Measures atmospheric, ocean and terrain microwave brightness temperatures to provide: sea surface winds, rain rates, cloud water, precipitation, soil moisture, ice edge, ice age.Multi-purpose imaging MW radiometer
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
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
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.n/a
ALISS III
Advanced LISS III
Being developed
For crops and vegetation dynamics, natural resources census, disaster management and large scale mapping of themes.High resolution optical imager
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
LISS-V
Linear Imaging Self Scanner-V
Being developed
Vegetation monitoring, improved crop discrimination, crop yield, disaster monitoring and rapid assessment of natural resources.High resolution optical imager
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.n/a
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
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
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.n/a
WSAR
WSAR
Proposed
High resolution radar measurements of land and ocean features.n/a
* Description adapted from WMO.
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