BackForwardInstrument:  ITPR 

Instrument details
Acronym ITPR
Full name Infrared Temperature Profile Radiometer
Purpose Atmospheric temperature profile and total-column water vapour
Short description Filter radiometer with 7 channels, 4 in the CO2 band, 1 in the rotational water vapour band and 2 in windows [see detailed characteristics below]
Background Prototype of follow-on operational temperature sounding radiometers. Early failure in July 1992
Scanning Technique Frames of 14 cross-track x 10 along-track IFOV's are mechanically scanned, and alternatively pointed left, nadir and right to implement a total swath of 1450 km
Resolution 32 km at s.s.p.
Coverage / Cycle Global each day
Mass 15.9 kg Power 16 W Data Rate 0.24 kbps


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1973 to 1983
Last update: 2012-09-06
Detailed characteristics


Wave number



19.71 µm

507.3 cm-1

84 cm-1

0.195 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

14.96 µm

668.3 cm-1

5.3 cm-1

0.500 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

14.50 µm

689.5 cm-1

15.2 cm-1

0.187 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

14.01 µm

713.8 cm-1

17.0 cm-1

0.192 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

13.39 µm

747.0 cm-1

17.2 cm-1

0.192 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

11.12 µm

899.0 cm-1

39.5 cm-1

0.192 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

3.73 µm

2683 cm-1

430 cm-1

0.004 mW m-2 sr-1 cm

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
  • Cross-nadir infrared sounder, possibly including VIS channels
WIGOS Subcomponents No WIGOS subcomponents have been defined.
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Atmospheric temperature
  • Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)
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
Atmospheric temperature*4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Very coarse vertical resolution.. Inaccurate in low troposphere.TIR in the CO2 15 micrometer band
Cloud cover4 - fairDiscontinuous coverage.MWIR and TIR channels
Cloud top height3 - highDiscontinuous coverage.TIR channels in window and in CO2 band for atmospheric column above cloud top
Cloud top temperature5 - marginalDiscontinuous coverage.TIR window channel(s)
Cloud type4 - fairDiscontinuous coverage.MWIR and TIR channels
Land surface temperature3 - highCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.MWIR and TIR window channels (high sensitivity to high temperature, cloud impact reduction, water vapour correction)
Sea surface temperature3 - highCloud sensitive.MWIR and TIR window channels (cloud impact reduction, water vapour correction)
Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)*3 - highCloud sensitive.TIR and FIR channels from the 11 micrometers window into the 18 micrometers water vapour rotational band
Upward long-wave irradiance at TOA5 - marginalSpectral interpolation needed.TIR and FIR channels in the 11 micrometers window, and in water vapour and CO2 bands around 6.3, 15 and 18 micrometers