Ash composite (4-5) of the 2008 Kasatochi Eruption. By AVO

The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is an instrument package on board a series of NOAA satellites that orbit the poles. The instruments detect radiation on earth, and are often used to image cloud cover and surface temperatures.

AVHRR satellites were launched in 1978 and fly 833 km (518 miles) above the earth, circling the planet over the poles about every 102 minutes. AVHRR data is one of the most comprehensive and long-term collections over the western and high Arctic. GINA has operated an AVHRR receiving station since 1993.

GINA receives NOAA-15, NOAA-16, NOAA-18, and NOAA-19 satellites through the partnership with NOAA/NESDISFCDAS .

The GINA operated a 1.2-m TeraScan receiving station designed by SeaSpace, Inc. of Poway, California. The system was located on the roof of the Geophysical Institute (C.T. Elvey Building) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and began operation in August 1993 and continued until 2010. The L-band system was capable of collecting and processing data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and carried aboard NOAA satellites.

This system also provides Arctic acquisition support to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS).

For GINA users, the continuous, real-time, High Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) portion of the AVHRR data stream is the most commonly requested. The whole GINA AVHRR archive is available for browsing through the SwathViewer. Researchers interested in getting access to this archive should feel free to contact us.

Sensor Overview
GINA receives the NOAA-15, NOAA-16, and NOAA-18 satellites that have the AVHRR/3 sensor. The scanning system returns data in five spectral band widths with a resolution (at nadir) of approximately 1.1 km (.68 mile). The band widths of the five channels (in micrometers) are:

Channel Wavelength (micrometers) Overview 1 0.58 – 0.68 (green to orange) Daytime cloud and surface mapping 2 0.725 – 1.10 (red to near-infrared) Land-water boundaries 3A 1.58 – 1.64 (near-infrared) Snow and ice detection (off during nighttime) 3B 3.55 – 3.93 (middle infrared) Night cloud mapping, sea surface temperature (off during daytime) 4 10.30 – 11.30 (thermal infrared) Night cloud mapping, sea surface temperature 5 11.50 – 12.50 (thermal infrared) Sea surface temperature

For more on AVHRR and the NOAA/POES satellite constellation hosting the AVHRR sensors: