Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
Banner Image



Aqua satellite mission continues transmitting high-quality data about Earth's atmosphere, oceans, ice, land and vegetation from four of its six instruments, AIRS, AMSU, CERES, and MODIS, and reduced quality data from a fifth instrument, AMSR-E. The sixth Aqua instrument, HSB, collected approximately nine months of high quality data but failed in February 2003.


The Terra satellite mission has five instruments that provide important climate measurements. Terra instruments record snow and ice extent (ASTER, MODIS) and track the amount of energy reflected into space from snow and ice (CERES).


The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of the key instruments onboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft. The snow cover product consists of several data layers including a normalized-difference snow index (NDSI) snow cover map and quality assessment data.  The VIIRS algorithm was adapted from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 6 (C6) snow-cover algorithm and data products, thus leveraging analysis and evaluation from both to make nearly-identical algorithms and similar data products for eventual production of a climate-data record.

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission

The Joint NASA-Japanese Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory (GPM-CO) spacecraft is an advanced successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM, 1998-2015), with additional channels on both the dual-frequency precipitation radar (DPR) and on the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) with capabilities specifically designed to sense falling snow along with light, moderate, and heavy precipitation rates. GPM was launched February 2014 and provides data in near-real-time for application and operational users and later for detailed science investigations. More information can be found at:


ICESat-2 is a satellite mission that will measure the height of Earth's ice-covered regions to track melting and other changes. From space, it will also measure the height of other features of our planet, including trees and shrubs, lakes and buildings.