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Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit A (AMSU /A)

NSSDC ID: 1998-030A-03
Mission Name: NOAA 15
Principal Investigator: Dr. Norman C. Grody


The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) is a new instrument on the Advanced TIROS-N (ATN) NOAA K-N series of operational meteorological satellites. The AMSU consists of two functionally independent units, AMSU-A and AMSU-B. The AMSU-A is a line-scan instrument designed to measure scene radiance in 15 channels, ranging from 23.8 to 89 GHz, to derive atmospheric temperature profiles from the Earth's surface to about 3 millibar pressure height. The instrument is a total power system having a field-of-view of 3.3 degrees at half-power points. The antenna provides cross track scan 50 degrees on either side of the orbital track at nadir with a total of 30 IFOVs per scan line. The AMSU-A is calibrated on-board using a blackbody and space as references. The AMSU-A is physically divided into two separate modules which interface independently with the spacecraft. The AMSU-A1 contains all of the 5 mm oxygen channels (channels 3-14) and the 80 GHz channel. The AMSU-A2 module consists of two low-frequency channels (channels 1 and 2). The 15 channels have a center frequency(GHz) at: 23.8, 31.4, 50.3, 52.8, 53.6, 54.4, 54.94, 55.5, six at 57.29, and 89.

Alternate Names

  • AMSU/A

Facts in Brief

Mass: 101.0 kg
Power (avg): 130.7 W
Bit rate (avg): 16.64 bps

Funding Agency

  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Norman C. GrodyPrincipal InvestigatorNOAA Office of Research and Application 
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