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 (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer)
- CERES (or Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System)
- MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer)
- MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)
- MOPITT (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.