AMSRU Overview

The NSIDC DAAC Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer Unified (AMSRU) collection includes passive microwave data products on snow, sea ice, soil moisture, vegetation water content, and brightness temperature. The NSIDC DAAC distributes daily, weekly, and monthly Level-2B and Level-3 AMSRU products.

The AMSRU collection has been designed to incorporate data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System Sensor (AMSR-E) sensor and the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer2 (AMSR2) sensor.

From 2002 to 2011, AMSR-E flew onboard NASA's Aqua satellite, collecting passive microwave measurements of land and ocean parameters related to global water and energy cycles. You can learn more about the AMSR-E instrument by visiting the NSIDC DAAC AMSR-E collection.

AMSR2 has operated since 2012 onboard the Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) satellite. The GCOM-W1 mission aims to establish a global, long-term observation system to improve understanding of the mechanisms of climate and water cycle variations. AMSR2 measures microwave emissions from the Earth's surface and atmosphere. It collects both daytime and nighttime observations of Earth, observing more than 99 percent of the planet every two days. For more information about AMSR2, refer to the About AMSR2 - Observing System on the GCOM-W1 website.

As a follow-on instrument to AMSR-E, AMSR2 offers enhanced spatial resolution, better calibration, and improved mitigation of radio-frequency interference. Because AMSR2 has been designed as a follow-on mission to AMSR-E, it makes observations that are spatially consistent, easily continuing the data record. Combining reprocessed AMSR-E data with subsequent AMSR2 observations provides a nearly continuous record dating back to 2002. As new data products become available, they are added to the collection.


Brightness temperature, sea ice concentration, sea ice motion, precipitation, snow depth, snow water equivalent, soil moisture, vegetation water content

Geographic coverage


Sensor(s) and satellite(s)

AMSR2 flies onboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) satellite, which launched on May 18, 2012.

AMSR-E flew onboard NASA's Aqua satellite, which launched on May 2, 2002, and ceased operations on December 4, 2011.

Related collection(s)