BackForwardInstrument:  HCMR 

Instrument details
Acronym HCMR
Full name Heat Capacity Mapping Radiometer
Purpose Inference of surface soil moisture through measurement of the thermal inertia
Short description Two-channel VIS/IR radiometer: 0.55-1.1 and 10.5-12.5 ?m
Background Adaptation of the SCMR flown on Nimbus-5
Scanning Technique Cross-track, swath 716 km
Resolution 500 m (VIS) or 600 m (IR) at s.s.p.
Coverage / Cycle Global in 4 days (VIS) or 2 days (IR)
Mass 38.9 kg Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity
Utilization Period: 1978 to 1980
Last update: 2013-12-04
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • Moderate resolution optical imager
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 1
  • VIS/IR imagery; realisation of a Day/Night band [in SSO]
  • VIS/IR imager [in SSO]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Soil moisture at surface
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Cloud cover4 - fairNo specific limitation.VIS and TIR channels
Cloud top temperature5 - marginalNo specific limitation.TIR window channel(s)
Cloud type4 - fairDaylight only.VIS and TIR channels
Fire fractional cover4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.VIS and TIR channels
Fire radiative power5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.TIR channels
Fire temperature5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.TIR channels
Sea surface temperature5 - marginalCloud sensitive.TIR window channel(s) around 11 micrometers .
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.VIS and TIR channels
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s)
Soil moisture at surface*4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Index only.VIS and TIR window channels. Soil moisture inferred from thermal inertia
Wind (horizontal)5 - marginalLimited to high latitudes.. Cloud or water vapour tracers needed.TIR channel(s) around 11 micrometers window