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Instrument profile: AVHRR--Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

AVHRR is a series of USA government-owned multispectral imaging satellites that orbit the Earth in polar orbits, mapping a large portion of the Earth's surface (pole to pole) in each orbit in optical, reflected infrared, and thermal infrared at 1 km resolution. The emphasis is on obtaining meteorological data. Missions flown include NOAA-6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. AVHRR satellites are still active.

Usefulness to land managers
Because of the large pixel size (1 km on a side), AVHRR data are likely to be useful only to those working on ecoregional/state/national/global scales.

Costs and Contacts
$50 for a Raw (level 1b) Scene (2400×6400 km), for "approved" users.
http://www.saa.noaa.gov/nsaa/products/welcome--An electronic library of NOAA environmental data.
http://edc.usgs.gov/products/satellite/avhrr.html--USGS web site including ordering information and additional satellite specs.

Sample images

Central USA Level 1B Scene


Useful Web Sites
See above.

Technical Specs


Spectral data characteristics:
Band #/type Spectral Coverage
Satellites 6,8,10
Spectral Coverage
Satellites 7,9,11,12,14
Spectral Coverage
Satellites 15,16,17
1: visible/green 580-680 nm 580-680 nm 580-680 nm
2: reflected IR 725-1050 nm 725-1050 nm 725-1050 nm
3: reflected/thermal IR
 
3550-3930 nm (3.55-3.93 microns)
 
3550-3930 nm (3.55-3.93 microns)
 
A: 1580-1640 nm (1.58-1.64 microns)
B: 3550-3930 nm (3.55-3.93 microns)
4: thermal IR 10500-11500nm (10.5-11.5 microns) 10300-11300nm (10.3-11.3 microns) 10300-11300nm (10.3-11.3 microns)
5: thermal IR 10500-11500nm (10.5-11.5 microns) 11500-12500nm (11.5-12.5 microns) 11500-12500nm (11.5-12.5 microns)

Areal data characteristics:
Pixel Size Swath Width Swath Length
1.1 km × 1.1 km 2399 km Global (pole to pole)

Other Information:
1 "Scene"= 2400×6400 km


References
http://edc.usgs.gov/guides/avhrr.html#avhrr5--accessed 15 Sept. 2004
http://edcdaac.usgs.gov/1KM/avhrr_sensor.asp#avhrr3--accessed 15 Sept. 2004
http://edc.usgs.gov/products/satellite/avhrr.html--accessed 15 Sept. 2004


 


Updated January 2005
©The Nature Conservancy, 2005