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Near Real-Time AMSR2 Data Being Released

Near real-time data from the AMSR2 instrument is the newest addition to the LANCE collection of products that provide satellite data generally within three hours of a sensor observation.

News date: 03/16/2015

Josh Blumenfeld, EOSDIS Science Writer

Meteorologists, oceanographers, climatologists, scientists, and researchers needing near real-time (NRT) environmental and atmospheric data have a new resource at their disposal. Starting early this year, data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument aboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Change Observation Mission – Water "Shizuku" (GCOM-W) satellite will be available generally within three hours of an AMSR2 instrument observation.

The near real-time data from AMSR2 that is being released is a combined rain-ocean product, which includes surface precipitation, wind speed over the ocean, water vapor over the ocean, and cloud liquid water over the ocean, and will be provided through the Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE), system. Other near real-time products based on AMSR2 data, such as snow, sea ice, and soil moisture, are expected to be released later in 2015.

LANCE logo

LANCE provides access to data collected by sensors on Earth observing satellites generally within three hours of a sensor observation. While LANCE products are not intended to take the place of standard data products (that is, science-quality products created using the best available ancillary, calibration, and ephemeris information), they are an invaluable resource for users needing the most current satellite data possible to make decisions about natural events as they are occurring, such as wildland fires, hurricanes, ice conditions, or dust storms.

Near real-time processing for AMSR2 data is being conducted by the LANCE AMSR2 Science Investigator-led Processing System (AMSR2 SIPS) at the Global Hydrology Resource Center Distributed Active Archive Center (GHRC DAAC), which is jointly managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Once processed, near real-time AMSR2 data can be accessed through the LANCE AMSR2 Near Real-Time Products page on the GHRC DAAC website and soon will be available for viewing using NASA’s Worldview data visualization tool or any geographic information system (GIS) software capable of reading and visualizing data in HDF-EOS5 format.

AMSR2 standard data products designed to support scientific research will be sent to the National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC (NSIDC DAAC). NSIDC DAAC is responsible for processing, managing, archiving, and distributing data related to snow and ice processes (particularly interactions among snow, ice, atmosphere, and the ocean). Research-quality AMSR2 data dating back to July 4, 2012, is expected to be available in 2016. NSIDC DAAC also stores research-quality data from the AMSR-E instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite dating from June 2002 through October 2011.

The AMSR2 instrument is part of the GCOM-W satellite, which orbits about 700 km (435 miles) above Earth. (Image courtesy of LANCE AMSR2)
The AMSR2 instrument is part of the GCOM-W satellite, which orbits about 700 km (435 miles) above Earth. (Image courtesy of LANCE AMSR2)

The AMSR2 sensor measures precipitation, ocean water vapor, cloud water, near-surface wind speed, sea and land surface temperature, soil moisture, snow cover, and sea ice, and provides close to 100% coverage of the Earth every two days. AMSR2 is the follow-on to the AMSR-E sensor, which stopped collecting data in 2011.

AMSR2 is on the JAXA GCOM-W satellite, which was launched on May 17, 2012, specifically to collect data related to the water cycle. The instrument is expected to have a five-year life span.

Last Updated: Feb 6, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST