THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Land >
Vegetation >
Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI)


Measurement Definition*: Difference between maximum (in NIR) and minimum (around the Red) vegetation reflectance, normalised to the summation. Representative of total biomass, supportive for computing LAI if not directly measured - Physical unit: [ % ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].
InstrumentStatus/
Accuracy
Instrument DescriptionMeasurement TechnologyTimeline
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
CHRIS
Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer
Operational
Supports a range of land, ocean and atmospheric applications, including agricultural science, forestry, environmental science, atmospheric science and oceanography.High resolution optical imager
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.High resolution optical imager
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
MSI (Sentinel-2)
Multi-Spectral Instrument (Sentinel-2)
Operational
Optical high spatial resolution imagery over land and coastal areas for GMES operational services.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-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
OLCI
Ocean and Land Colour Imager
Operational
Marine and land services.n/a
OLI
Operational Land Imager
Operational
Measures surface radiance, land cover state and change (eg vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.High resolution optical imager
SGLI
Second-generation Global Imager
Operational
+/-20 %
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
SLIM-6-22
Surrey Linear Imager - 6 channel - 22m resolution
Operational
Visible and NIR imagery in support of disaster management - part of the Disaster Management constellation.High resolution optical imager
TANSO-CAI
Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation - Cloud and Aerosol Imager
Operational
Detection and correction of cloud and aerosol for TANSO-FTS.Multi-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
TANSO-CAI-2
Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation - Cloud and Aerosol Imager-2
Operational
Detection and correction of cloud and aerosol for TANSO-FTS, aerosol characteristicsMulti-purpose imaging Vis/IR radiometer
Vegetation
Vegetation
Operational
Global coverage every two days for uses including climate impact assessments, surface water resource management, agricultural monitoring, and food security estimates.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
VSC
Venus Superspectral Camera
Operational
High resolution superspectral images (12 spectral bands) for vegetation and landcover applications.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
MX (HRSAT)
Multispectral HR VNIR
Being developed
For crops and vegetation dynamics, natural resources census, disaster management and large scale mapping of themes.High resolution optical imager
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.High resolution optical imager
CAR
High Resolution Camera
Approved
Panchromatic and multispectral (Vis/IR) measurements with high spatial resolution, with stereo capability for DEM generation. Applications in emergencies in general, agriculture, land use/land cover, change detection, urban environment, cartography, topography.High resolution optical imager
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
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
* Description adapted from WMO.
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