Extended NASA Satellite Missions
Along with all the data from other instruments on board the Terra spacecraft and Aqua Spacecraft, MODIS data are transferred to ground stations in White Sands, New Mexico, via the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). The data are then sent to the EOS Data and Operations System (EDOS) at the Goddard Space Flight Center. After Level 0 processing at EDOS, the Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Sciences Distributed Active Archive Center (GES DAAC) produces the Level 1A, Level 1B, geolocation, cloud mask, and higher-level MODIS land and atmosphere products are produced by the MODIS Adaptive Processing System (MODAPS), and then are parceled out among three DAACs for distribution. Ocean color products are produced by the Ocean Color Data Processing System (OCDPS) and distributed to the science and applications community. The many data products derived from MODIS observations describe features of the land, oceans and the atmosphere that can be used for studies of processes and trends on local to global scales. As just noted, MODIS products are available from several sources. MODIS Level 1 and atmosphere products are available through MODAPS at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. Land Products are available through the Land Processes DAAC at the U. S. Geological Survey EROS Data Center (EDC). Cryosphere data products (snow and sea ice cover) are available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. Ocean color products and sea surface temperature products along with information about these products are obtainable at the OCDPS at GSFC. Users with an appropriate x-band receiving system may capture regional data directly from the spacecraft using the MODIS Direct Broadcast signal.
More information about obtaining MODIS data can be found from the information sites listed below. The URL's for these sources of data are as follows: MODIS Level 1 data, geolocation, cloud mask, and Atmosphere products: MODIS land products: MODIS cryosphere products: MODIS ocean color and sea surface temperature products:
Satellite Instruments
The MODIS instrument is operating on both the Terra and Aqua spacecraft. It has a viewing swath width of 2,330 km and views the entire surface of the Earth every one to two days. Its detectors measure 36 spectral bands between 0.405 and 14.385 µm, and it acquires data at three spatial resolutions — 250m, 500m, and 1,000m. This sensor has wide use for studies of land, atmosphere, and ocean properties.
Michael King
LASP/University of Colorado
392 UCB, Boulder CO 80309-0392
(303) 492-8099
Measurment TypeVisible/IR-imager
Platform TypeTerra/Aqua
OrbitSun synchronous
Spectral Coverage36 bands from 0.41 to 14.3 µm
Scan PatternCross track
VariablesSST, ocean color, LST, land use/land cover, vegetation indices, fire, atmospheric composition, clouds, atmospheric moisture, winds, aerosols, ocean currents,sea ice
Repeat Time16 days
Wavelength0.40 to 14.3um
Number of Bands36
Start DateFeb 2000
Temporal CoverageAqua began collecting data in June 2002
Swath Width2330
Resolution 1250m
Resolution 2500m
Resolution 31km
Barnes, W. L., T. S. Pagano, and V. V. Salomonson, 1998: Prelaunch characteristics of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on EOS-AM1. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 36, 1088-1100. King, M. D., W. P. Menzel, Y. J. Kaufman, D. Tanré, B. C. Gao, S. Platnick, S. A. Ackerman, L. A. Remer, R. Pincus, and P. A. Hubanks, 2003: Cloud and aerosol properties, precipitable water, and profiles of temperature and humidity from MODIS. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 41, 442-458.
MODIS is the primary instrument in NASA's EOS program and products are continuing to be updated.
4 Sep 2009 15:18