Terra Instruments

Terra collects data about the Earth’s bio-geochemical and energy systems using five sensors that observe the atmosphere, land surface, oceans, snow and ice, and energy budget. Each sensor has unique features that enable scientists to meet a wide range of science objectives. The five Terra onboard sensors are:

  • ASTER, or Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
  • CERES, or Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System
  • MISR, or Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
  • MODIS, or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
  • MOPITT, or Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere

Because all five instruments are on the same satellite making simultaneous observations, scientists are able to compare different aspects of Earth’s characteristics over time.