We currently receive data from the following satellite platform:
* NOAA series
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites are meteorological satellites in a polar orbit (they circle the earth in an approximately north/south direction and, consequently, go over the poles during each orbit). The Defense Meteorolgical Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites are also polar orbiting are are also used for meteorological purposes. The SeaWiFS sensor is on board the Orbview-2 Satellite. It is a polar orbiter whose main purpose is "ocean color" measurement.
The following serves as our main sensor package:
* AVHRR (advanced very high resolution radiometer)
The AVHRR sensor measures electromagnetic radiation in 5 wavelength intervals, or bands, from the visible to the infrared portion of the spectrum. As the satellite goes overhead, the sensor scans back and forth collecting reflected and emitted radiation at 2400 locations perpendicular to its path. And, as the satellite proceeds in its orbit, it collects "lines" of these scans to broadcast to receivers at the ground station. The nominal size of these "cells", on the ground, is 1 km (about 0.6 mi). We can create a "picture" from this information by arranging the lines consecutively and equating the signal level in each "cell" to a grey level and assigning that to the appropriate "pixel" on the computer screen. These images can also be outputted in hardcopy format or saved for further processing. Alternatively, color images can also be created by assigning various colors to the different signal levels or by, for example, assigning the color red to one "band", blue to another, and green to still another according to the various signal levels in each cell.
We are currently monitoring NOAA-15, NOAA-17 and NOAA-18 satellites. The ground revisit interval is such that the satellites pass over the same ground location twice a day -- once in the early morning (near temperature minimum for the day) and once during sunset for NOAA-15 , once in the late morning for NOAA-17, once in the mid-afternoon for NOAA-18 and once during the night for both NOAA-17 and NOAA-18.
More information on the NOAA satellite sensors can be found at the following sites:
* NOAA Operational Satellites (AVHRR)
* NOAA Operational Satellites (TOVS)
* U. of Wisconsin (TOVS)
* NOAA Polar Orbiter Data User's Guide
* USGS Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center Home Page, or
* USGS Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center DAAC Page
(This has links to other data sets of interest)