The NOAA-N Polar Orbiting Weather Satellite
The NOAA-N Polar Orbiting Weather Satellite
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sent the first of a series of NOAA satellites into orbit in 1970. These satellites move in solar synchronous orbits about 850 km above the Earth and scan the entire Earth in twenty-four hours.

The latest NOAA satellites are equipped with an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) which scans in five channels. The AVHRR scanner makes it possible to map vegetation and cloud formation and to measure temperature and humidity in the atmosphere and on Earth.
METEOSAT image in the thermal infrared channel, 21 December 1997
Denmark as seen from NOAA in its thermal infrared channel on 2 May 1990
On the right is a geometrically rectified segment of a NOAA image in the thermal infrared channel covering Denmark and the south of Sweden.

As the NOAA is equipped with both a visible and a near infrared channel, it can also be used for small-scale mapping of vegetation. The daily transects occur at the same local time, making it possible to put together cloudless images based upon several days' sensing.
Last update: 20 January 2011

Earth observation satellites

 •  Introduction (
 •  Landsat (
 •  ERS (
 •  RESURS (
 •  Envisat (
 •  SPOT (

Meteorological satellites

 •  Meteosat (
 •  Meteosat Second Generation (
 •  MetOp (

Earth Explorer satellites

 •  Introduction (
 •  GOCE (
 •  SMOS (
 •  CryoSat-2 (

Commercial high resolution optical satellites

 •  IKONOS (
 •  QuickBird (
 •  WorldView (

Related links

 •  NOAA (