MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MODIS on AQUA satellite

How to get MODIS imagery and data

MODIS data is available under Creative Commons License 3.0.

For further information, please contact: Earth Observation Client Services.

Satellite characteristics

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is the key instrument aboard the satellites Terra (EOS AM-1), launched on 18 December 1999, and Aqua (EOS PM-1) (pictured right), launched on 4 May 2002. MODIS views almost the entire surface of the Earth every day, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands over a 2330 km swath.

MODIS data will improve the understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.

Geoscience Australia has been acquiring MODIS data since August 2000. More information about how MODIS data can be used is available from NASA's MODIS Brochure

Spacecraft Characteristics

Orbit: 705 km, 10:30 a.m. descending node (Terra) or 1:30 p.m. ascending node (Aqua), sun-synchronous, near-polar, circular
Scan Rate: 20.3 rpm, cross track
Swath Dimensions: 2330 km (cross track) by 10° of latitude (along track at nadir)
Telescope: 17.78 cm diam. off-axis, afocal (collimated), with intermediate field stop
Size: 1.0 x 1.6 x 1.0 m
Weight: 228.7 kg
Power: 162.5 W (single orbit average)
Data Rate: 10.6 Mbps (peak daytime); 6.1 Mbps (orbital average)
Quantization: 12 bits
Spatial Resolution: 250 m (bands 1-2)
500 m (bands 3-7)
1000 m (bands 8-36)
Design Life: 6 years

Sensor Characteristics

Primary Use Band Bandwidth1 Spectral
Radiance2
Required
SNR3
Land/Cloud/Aerosols
Boundaries
1 620 - 670 21.8 128
2 841 - 876 24.7 201
Land/Cloud/Aerosols
Properties
3 459 - 479 35.3 243
4 545 - 565 29.0 228
5 1230 - 1250 5.4 74
6 1628 - 1652 7.3 275
7 2105 - 2155 1.0 110
Ocean Color
Phytoplankton
Biogeochemistry
8 405 - 420 44.9 880
9 438 - 448 41.9 838
10 483 - 493 32.1 802
11 526 - 536 27.9 754
12 546 - 556 21.0 750
13 662 - 672 9.5 910
14 673 - 683 8.7 1087
15 743 - 753 10.2 586
16 862 - 877 6.2 516
Atmospheric
Water Vapor
17 890 - 920 10.0 167
18 931 - 941 3.6 57
19 915 - 965 15.0 250
Primary Use Band Bandwidth1 Spectral
Radiance2
Required
NE[delta]T(K)4
Surface/Cloud
Temperature
20 3.660 - 3.840 0.45 (300K) 0.05
21 3.929 - 3.989 2.38 (335K) 2.00
22 3.929 - 3.989 0.67 (300K) 0.07
23 4.020 - 4.080 0.79 (300K) 0.07
Atmospheric
Temperature
24 4.433 - 4.498 0.17 (250K) 0.25
25 4.482 - 4.549 0.59 (275K) 0.25
Cirrus Clouds
Water Vapor
26 1.360 - 1.390 6.00 150(SNR)
27 6.535 - 6.895 1.16 (240K) 0.25
28 7.175 - 7.475 2.18 (250K) 0.25
Cloud Properties 29 8.400 - 8.700 9.58 (300K) 0.05
Ozone 30 9.580 - 9.880 3.69 (250K) 0.25
Surface/Cloud
Temperature
31 10.780 - 11.280 9.55 (300K) 0.05
32 11.770 - 12.270 8.94 (300K) 0.05
Cloud Top
Altitude
33 13.185 - 13.485 4.52 (260K) 0.25
34 13.485 - 13.785 3.76 (250K) 0.25
35 13.785 - 14.085 3.11 (240K) 0.25
36 14.085 - 14.385 2.08 (220K) 0.35
* Footnotes:
1 Bands 1 to 19 are in nm; Bands 20 to 36 are in µm
2 Spectral Radiance values are (W/m2 - µm-sr)
3 SNR = Signal-to-noise ratio
4 NE(delta)T = Noise-equivalent temperature difference
Note: Performance goal is 30-40% better than required.