The AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) program is an inclusive federation of ground-based remote sensing aerosol networks established by AERONET and PHOTONS and greatly expanded by AEROCAN and other agency, institute, and university partners. The goal is to assess aerosol optical properties and validate satellite retrievals of aerosol optical properties. The network imposes standardization of instruments, calibration, and processing. Data from this collaboration provides globally distributed observations of spectral aerosol optical depths, inversion products, and precipitable water in geographically diverse aerosol regimes. Three levels of data are available from this website: Level 1.0 (unscreened), Level 1.5 (cloud-screened), and Level 2.0 (Cloud-screened and quality-assured). Descriptions may be found of program objectives, affiliations, the instrumentation, operational issues, data products, database browser "demonstrat", research activities, links to similar data sets, NASA EOS links and personnel involved in AERONET.


Aquarius is a focused satellite mission to measure global Sea Surface Salinity (SSS). Scientific progress is limited because conventional in situ SSS sampling is too sparse to give the global view of salinity variability that only a satellite can provide. Aquarius will resolve missing physical processes that link the water cycle, the climate, and the ocean.


ICESat (Ice, Cloud,and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. The ICESat mission will provide multi-year elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. It will also provide topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

  Landsat 7

Landsat 7 is a U.S. satellite used to acquire remotely sensed images of the Earth's land surface and surrounding coastal regions. This site features Landsat 7 data characteristics, science and education applications, technical documentation, program policy, and history. It is maintained by the Landsat 7 Project Science Office at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Images acquired by Landsat satellites were used to produce the first composite multi-spectral mosaic of the 48 contiguous United States. Landsat imagery has provided critically important information for monitoring agricultural productivity, water resources, urban growth, deforestation, and natural change due to fires and insect infestations. The data have also been used successfully for mineral exploration, to measure forest cover at the state level, and to monitor strip mining and strip mine reclamation.

  LIMA: Faces of Antarctica

The "Faces of Antarctica" Website uses the new, first-ever, high-resolution Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) to familiarize the public with this remote continent, its vast ice sheet, and why what happens there matters to us all. "Faces of Antarctica" emphasizes our themes that exploration and research are both human endeavors, that satellite imagery captures the face of the continent, and that this face is changing.

  MODIS Rapid Response System

The MODIS Rapid Response system has been developed to provide rapid access to MODIS data globally, with initial emphasis on 250m color composite imagery and active fire data. The experience gained during the Montana fires of 2000, when the MODIS team was asked to provide active fire information to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), has led to the improvement and automation of several of the steps involved in MODIS rapid data provision. Imagery and data are now being provided to a number of users such as the USFS Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC), the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the U.N. Global Fire Monitoring Center, and NASA's Earth Observatory. Incremental improvements are planned both for the user interface and the selection of products available from this site.

  MODIS Snow/Ice

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is a 36-channel visible to thermal-infrared sensor that was first launched as part of the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra payload on 18 December 1999. A second MODIS was launched as part of the payload on the Aqua satellite on May 4, 2002. A variety of snow and ice products is produced from the MODIS sensors, and the products are available at a variety of spatial and temporal resolutions. The MODIS snow product suite begins with a 500-m resolution, 2330-km swath snow-cover map which is then gridded to a sinusoidal grid. The sequence proceeds to climate-modeling grid (CMG) products on a latitude/longitude (cylindrical equidistant projection). Most of the products are archived at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, CO.

  NPOESS Preparatory Project

The National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) will provide long-term systematic measurements of key environmental variables begining about 2009. The NPP mission collects and distributes remotely-sensed land, ocean, and atmospheric data to the meteorological and global climate change communities as the responsibility for these measurements transitions from existing Earth-observing missions such as Aqua, Terra and Aura, to the NPOESS. It will provide atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity sounding, land and ocean biological productivity, and cloud and aerosol properties.




The purpose of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Project is to provide quantitative data on global ocean bio-optical properties to the Earth science community. Subtle changes in ocean color signify various types and quantities of marine phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), the knowledge of which has both scientific and practical applications. The SeaWiFS Project will develop and operate a research data system that will process, calibrate, validate, archive and distribute data received from an Earth-orbiting ocean color sensor.


SMAP will provide global observations of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state, together termed the hydrosphere state. SMAP hydrosphere state measurements will be used to enhance understanding of the processes that link the water, energy and carbon cycles, and to extend the capability of weather and climate prediction models. SMAP data will be used to quantify net carbon flux in boreal landscapes and to develop improved flood and drought prediction capabilities.