Terra Instruments

Image from TERRA
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 10:46 EDT

The year 2020 will be remembered for being a very trying year and western wildfires have just added to the year's woes.

Image from TERRA
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:00 EDT

While scientists around the world are confined to their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth observing satellites continue to orbit and send back images that reveal connections between the pandemic and the environment.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:23 EDT

Earth-observing instruments on satellites and aircraft are mapping the current fires, providing data products to agencies on the ground that are responding to the emergency.

MISR

Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

Hurricane Katerina as seen by the MISR sensor

Most satellite instruments look only straight down, or toward the edge of the planet. To fully understand Earth’s climate, and to determine how it may be changing, we need to know the amount of sunlight that is scattered in different directions under natural conditions. MISR is a new type of instrument designed to address this need — it views the Earth with cameras pointed at nine different angles. One camera points toward nadir, and the others provide forward and aftward view angles, at the Earth’s surface, of 26.1°, 45.6°, 60.0°, and 70.5°. As the instrument flies overhead, each region of the Earth’s surface is successively imaged by all nine cameras in each of four wavelengths (blue, green, red, and near-infrared).

In addition to improving our understanding of the fate of sunlight in the Earth’s environment, MISR data can distinguish different types of clouds, aerosol particles, and surfaces. Specifically, MISR will monitor the monthly, seasonal, and long-term trends in:

  • the amount and type of atmospheric aerosol particles, including those formed by natural sources and by human activities;
  • the amount, types, and heights of clouds; and
  • the distribution of land surface cover, including vegetation canopy structure

MISR Web Site (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

MISR in the News