The NSIDC DAAC AMSR/ADEOS-II data collection includes passive microwave measurements from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer Sensor (AMSR). Observations cover early 2003 through October 24, 2003. The NSIDC DAAC collection includes Level-1A and Level-2A products containing sensor counts and brightness temperature:

  • Sensor counts are raw observations, and users can apply their own corrections to these observations, to suit particular research environments.
  • Brightness temperatures are measurements of energy emitted at microwave frequencies, enabling the identification of observed objects’ characteristics and temperature.

AMSR flew on the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-II (ADEOS-II) satellite, operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Improving upon the capabilities of earlier passive microwave radiometers, such as the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), AMSR could collect observations in daylight and nighttime conditions, and in any kind of weather with minimal interference from clouds. These remote sensing capabilities are crucial to observing polar regions year-round, including months-long stretches of polar darkness.

The ADEOS-II satellite launched on December 14, 2002. The mission was planned to operate for three to five years, but problems with the satellite's electrical supply ended operations on October 25, 2003.

Since the lifetime of the AMSR instrument, newer NASA missions, AMSR-E and AMSR2, have extended the continuous record of passive microwave observations from 2002 to present.


Sensor counts, brightness temperature, microwave imagery

Geographic coverage


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