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Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)

NSSDCA ID: 1991-032A-01

Mission Name: NOAA 12
Principal Investigator:


The NOAA-12 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is a five-channel scanning radiometer capable of providing global daytime and nighttime sea surface temperature and information about ice, snow, vegetation, and clouds. These data are obtained on a daily basis for use in weather analysis and forecasting. The multispectral radiometer operates in the scanning mode and measures emitted and reflected radiation in the following spectral intervals: channel 1 (visible), 0.55 to 0.9 micrometer; channel 2 (near-IR), 0.725 micrometer to detector cutoff around 1.1 micrometers; channel 3 (IR window, 3.5 to 3.9 micrometers; channel 4 (IR window), 10.3 to 11.3 micrometers; channel 5 (IR window), 11.5 to 12.5 micrometers. All five channels have a spatial resolution of 1.1 km, and the two far IR-window channels have a thermal resolution of 0.12 deg K at 300 deg K. The AVHRR is capable of operating in both real-time or recorded modes. Real-time or direct readout data are transmitted to ground stations both at low (4-km) resolution via automatic picture transmission (APT) and at high (1-km) resolution via high-resolution picture transmission (HRPT). Data recorded on board are available for processing in the NOAA central computer facilility. They include global area coverage (GAC) data, which have a resolution of 4 km, and local area coverage (LAC) data, which contain data from selected portions of each orbit with a 1-km resolution. Similar experiments are flown on the other spacecraft in the TIROS-N/NOAA series.

Alternate Names


Facts in Brief

Mass: 25.5 kg
Power (avg): 25.7 W

Funding Agency

  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics
  • Earth Science: Land Surface Processes
  • Earth Science: Physical Oceanography
  • Earth Science: Land Topography

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. William E. ShenkGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Principal InvestigatorNOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
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