The AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) is a radiation-detection imager that can be used for remotely determining cloud cover and the surface temperature. Note that the term surface can mean the surface of the Earth, the upper surfaces of clouds, or the surface of a body of water. This scanning radiometer uses 6 detectors that collect different bands of radiation wavelengths as shown below.

The first AVHRR was a 4-channel radiometer, first carried on TIROS-N (launched October 1978). This was subsequently improved to a 5-channel instrument (AVHRR/2) that was initially carried on NOAA-7 (launched June 1981). The latest instrument version is AVHRR/3, with 6 channels, first carried on NOAA-15 launched in May 1998.


Status: Operational
Satellite NOAA serie
Launch Date: May 1998
Type: Imaging multi-spectral radiometers (vis/IR)
Measurements and Applications: 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

Technical Characteristics

Resolution: 1.1 km
N. of Bands: 6

VIS: 0.58 - 0.68 µm,
NIR: 0.725 - 1.1 µm,
SWIR: 1.58 - 1.64 µm,
MWIR: 3.55 - 3.93 µm,
TIR: 10.3 - 11.3 µm, 11.5 - 12.5 µm

Swath: 3000 km




AVHRR Guide http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/ecosys/cdroms/AVHRR97_d1/avhrr2.htm