BackForwardInstrument:  WFC 

Instrument details
Acronym WFC
Full name Wide-Field Camera
Purpose VIS imagery to support the CALIPSO mission (main instrument: CALIOP, nadir-viewing)
Short description Single VIS channel (620-670 nm), SNR = 51 @ 12 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1
Background Consolidated technology
Scanning Technique Push-broom, swath 60 km surrounding the CALIOP viewing area
Resolution 125 m
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage in 16 d (orbit repeat cycle) for cells of 100 km side
Mass 2.6 kg Power 10.6 W Data Rate 15.8 kbps


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2006-07-05 to ≥2023
Last update: 2017-03-28
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
  • High resolution optical imager
WIGOS Subcomponents No WIGOS subcomponents have been defined.
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Fire fractional cover
Secondary mission objectives
  • Glacier cover
  • Sea-ice cover
  • Snow cover
Opportunity objectives
  • Cloud cover
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Tentative 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
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Cloud cover5 - marginalInfrequent coverage.. Daylight only.Panchromatic channel
Fire fractional cover2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.Panchromatic channel with high resolution, for fire boundary detection
Glacier cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Long time for mapping.. Daylight only.Panchromatic channel with high resolution, for glacier boundary detection
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Panchromatic channel
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.Panchromatic channel