BackForwardInstrument:  VHRR (NOAA) 

Instrument details
Acronym VHRR (NOAA)
Full name Very High Resolution Radiometer (in LEO)
Purpose Cloud imagery
Short description Two-channel VIR/IR radiometer, 0.52-0.72 ?m and 10.5-12.5 ?m
Background Advanced version of SR flown on the same satellite
Scanning Technique Cross-track, 400 rpm (1 km/line), swath 2580 km
Resolution 0.9 km at s.s.p.
Coverage / Cycle Near-global each day (VIS) or twice/day (IR)
Mass 16 kg Power 25 W Data Rate Analogue, 70 kHz basic band


Providing Agency NOAA
Instrument Maturity Flown on operational programme
Utilization Period: 1973 to 1979
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
  • Cloud cover
  • Cloud top temperature
  • Cloud type
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 cover*4 - fairNo specific limitation.VIS and TIR channels
Cloud top temperature*5 - marginalNo specific limitation.TIR window channel(s)
Cloud type*4 - 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 .
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channel(s)
Soil moisture at surface4 - 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
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.VIS and TIR channels