ATSR stands for Along Track Scanning Radiometer. They are imaging radiometers that provide images of the Earth's surface from space. Each ATSR instrument has been designed for exceptional sensitivity and stability of calibration, which are achieved through the incorporation of several innovative features in the instrument design. This design has, among other things, enabled the accurate measurement of sea surface temperature to an accuracy of +/- 0.3K

Satellite measurements of the temperature of the surface of the Earth are inevitably affected by the passage of the radiation through the atmosphere. The dual view design of ATSR makes it possible to estimate and correct for these atmospheric effects. The two views result from the instrument's conical scanning mechanism. Each scan takes readings from the nadir position and then sweeps round to take measurements from a point about 900Km along the satellite's track. A few minutes after acquiring the forward view, the satellite passes over the same spot and takes readings for the nadir view. As the two views of the same scene are taken through different atmospheric path lengths, it is possible to calculate a correction for the effect of atmospheric absorption.


Status: Operational
Satellite ERS serie
Launch Date: April 1995
Type: Imaging multi-spectral radiometers (vis/IR)
Measurements and Applications: Measurements of sea surface temperature, land surface temperature, cloud top temperature and cloud cover, aerosols, vegetation, atmospheric water vapour and liquid water content

Technical Characteristics

Resolution: 1 km
N. of Bands: 8 + 2

VIS - SWIR: 0.65 µm, 0.85 µm, 1.27 µm, and 1.6 µm,
SWIR-TIR: 1.6 µm, 3.7 µm, 11 µm and 12 µm,
Microwave: 23.8 GHz, 36.5 GHz (bandwidth of 400 MHz)

Swath: 500 km




University of Leicester - ATSR Project