THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Land >
Albedo and reflectance >
Earth surface albedo


Measurement Definition*: Hemispherically integrated reflectance of the Earth’s surface in the range 0.4-0.7 µm (or other specific short-wave ranges) - 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.n/a
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.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
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.n/a
AWiFS
Advanced Wide Field Sensor
Operational
Vegetation and crop monitoring, resource assessment (regional scale), forest mapping, land cover/ land use mapping, and change detection.n/a
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.n/a
CZI
Coastal Zone Imager
Operational
Imagery of coastal regions - estuaries, tidal regions, etc.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.n/a
Geoton-L1 (2)
Geoton-L1
Operational
Multispectral images of land surfaces and Oceans.n/a
HSI-2 (HJ-2A)
Hyper Spectrum Imager 2
Operational
Hyperspectral measurements for environment and disaster management operations.n/a
HYC
HYperspectral Camera
Operational
Hyperspectral data for complex land ecosystem studies.n/a
IRMSS-2 (HJ-2)
Infrared Multispectral Scanner - 2
Operational
Infrared measurements for environment and natural disaster monitoring.n/a
IRS
Infrared scanner
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
KMSS
Multispectral Imager (VIS) system
Operational
Multispectral images of land & sea surfaces and ice cover.n/a
KShMSA-VR
High resolution wide capture multispectral optical sensor
Operational
Land surface and ocean monitoringn/a
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.n/a
LISS-IV
Linear Imaging Self Scanner - IV
Operational
Vegetation monitoring, improved crop discrimination, crop yield, disaster monitoring and rapid assessment of natural resources.n/a
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 (BJ-2)
Multispectral Imager
Operational
SSTL-300 S1 Imager also known as VHRI 100 (Very High Resolution Imager 100).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.n/a
MSS
Multispectral imaging system
Operational
Multispectral images of land & sea surfaces and ice cover.n/a
MSU-MR
Low-resolution multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Operational
Parameters of clouds, snow, ice and land cover, vegetation, surface temperature, fire detection.n/a
MUX (CBERS-4)
Multispectral CCD Camera
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
MUX (CBERS-4A)
Multispectral CCD Camera
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
MUX (GF-1)
Multispectral CCD Camera
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
MUX (GF-2)
Multispectral CCD Camera
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
MUX (ZY-3-01)
Multispectral CCD Camera
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
MUX (ZY-3-02)
Multispectral CCD Camera
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
NigeriaSat 2 Remote Sensing (Med and High Res)
NigeriaSat 2 Remote Sensing (Med and High Res)
Operational
High resolution images for monitoring of land surface and coastal processes and for agricultural, geological and hydrological applications.n/a
NigeriaSat X Remote Sensing (Medium Resolution)
NigeriaSat X Remote Sensing (Medium Resolution)
Operational
High resolution images for monitoring of land surface and coastal processes and for agricultural, geological and hydrological applications.n/a
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 (e.g., vegetation type). Used as multi-purpose imagery for land applications.n/a
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.n/a
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
PAN (BJ-2)
Panchromatic Imager
Operational
SSTL-300 S1 Imager also known as VHRI 100 (Very High Resolution Imager 100).n/a
PAN (Cartosat-2A/2B)
Panchromatic Camera
Operational
High resolution stereo images for large scale (better than 1:0000) mapping applications, urban applications, GIS ingest.n/a
PAN (Cartosat-2E)
Panchromatic Camera
Operational
High resolution stereo images for large scale (better than 1:0000) mapping applications, urban applications, GIS ingest.n/a
PAN (Cartosat-3)
Panchromatic sensor
Operational
High resolution images for study of topography, urban areas, development of DTM, run-off models etc. Urban sprawl, forest cover/timber volume, land use change.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
PSS
Panchromatic imaging system
Operational
Panchromatic data for environmental monitoring, agriculture and forestry.n/a
RASAT VIS Multispectral
RASAT VIS Multispectral camera
Operational
High resolution images for monitoring of land surface and coastal processes and for agricultural, geological and hydrological applications.n/a
RASAT VIS Panchromatic
RASAR VIS Panchromatic camera
Operational
High resolution images for monitoring of land surface and coastal processes and for agricultural, geological and hydrological applications.n/a
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
SGLI
Second-generation Global Imager
Operational
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
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
TOP (MS)
THEOS Optical Payload (MS)
Operational
THEOS Optical Payload - MS (15m GSD, 90km Swath) is a refractive instrument employing a line scanning tehchnique. Data is used for various applications including cartography, land use planning and management, national security, etc.n/a
TOP (PAN)
THEOS Optical Payload (PAN)
Operational
THEOS Optical Payload - PAN (2m GSD, 22km Swath) is a cassegrain type opto-mechanical instrument employing a line scanning technique. Data is used for various applications including cartography, land use planning and management, national security, etc.n/a
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.n/a
VIRR
Multispectral Visible and Infra-red Scan Radiometer (10 channels)
Operational
Multispectral Visible and Infra-red Scan Radiometer.n/a
VISSR-2
Stretched Visible and Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer-2
Operational
Meteorological.n/a
WFI (Amazonia-1)
Wide Field Imager (Amazonia-1)
Operational
Used for fire extent detection measurement, coastal and vegetation monitoring, land cover and land use mapping. WFI (Amazonia-1) is the same instrument as WFI (CBERS), however due to differences in orbital altitude, they have different spatial resolutionn/a
WFI (CBERS-4)
Wide Field Imager (CBERS)
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use. WFI (Amazonia-1) is the same instrument as WFI (CBERS), however due to differences in orbital altitude, they have different spatial resolutions.n/a
WFI (CBERS-4A)
Wide Field 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
WPM
Wide Swath Panchromatic and Multispectral Camera
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
WVC-2
Wide View CCD camera - 2
Operational
Multispectral measurements of Earth's surface for natural enviroment and disaster applications.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.n/a
APAN
Advanced PAN
Being developed
High-resolution images for the study of topography, urban areas, development of DTM, run-off models etc., urban sprawl, forest cover/timber volume, land use change.n/a
LISS-V
Linear Imaging Self Scanner-V
Being developed
Vegetation monitoring, improved crop discrimination, crop yield, disaster monitoring and rapid assessment of natural resources.n/a
MX (HRSAT)
Multispectral HR VNIR
Being developed
For crops and vegetation dynamics, natural resources census, disaster management and large scale mapping of themes.n/a
NAOMI (MS)
New Astrosat Optical Modular Imager (MS)
Being developed
NAOMI - PAN (0.5m GSD, 10.3km Swath) is a TMA opto-mechanical instrument employing a line scanning technique. Data is used for various applications including cartography, land use planning and management, national security, etc.n/a
NAOMI (PAN)
New Astrosat Optical Modular Imager (PAN)
Being developed
NAOMI - MS (2m GSD, 10.3km Swath) is a TMA opto-mechanical instrument employing 24-stage TDI scanning. Data is used for various applications including cartography, land use planning and management, national security, etc.n/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.n/a
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
PAN (HRSAT)
Panchromatic Camera
Being developed
High resolution stereo images for large scale mapping applicationsn/a
HSI
Hyperspectral Imager
Approved
Detailed monitoring and characterization of rock and soil targets, vegetation, inland and coastal waters on a global scale.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.n/a
OEK VR
Multispectral optoelectronic high resolution module
Approved
Multispectral images of land surfaces and Oceans.n/a
Advanced KMSS
Advanced Multispectral Imager (VIS)
Proposed
Multispectral images of land & sea surfaces and ice cover.n/a
Advanced MSU-MR
Advanced Multispectral scanning imager-radiometer
Proposed
Parameters of clouds, snow, ice and land cover, vegetation, surface temperature, fire detection.n/a
L-Band SAR
L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Proposed
Global observation of dynamic processes in the bio-, cryo-, geo- and hydrosphere.n/a
SWIR
Short Wave Infra Red
Proposed
 n/a
WSAR
WSAR
Proposed
High resolution radar measurements of land and ocean features.n/a
MI
Meteorological Imager
No longer 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. Ceased operations from 1 April 2020.n/a
S-Band SAR
S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
No longer operational
Radar measurements for natural and disaster monitoring.n/a
* Description adapted from WMO.
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