The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A), a 15-channel microwave sounder designed primarily to obtain temperature profiles in the upper atmosphere (especially the stratosphere) and to provide a cloud-filtering capability for tropospheric temperature observations. The first AMSU was launched in May 1998 on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) NOAA 15 satellite. The EOS AMSU-A is part of a closely coupled triplet of instruments that include the AIRS and HSB.

Instrument characteristics

  • Passive multi-channel microwave radiometer measuring atmospheric temperature.
  • 15 channel microwave sounder with a frequency range of 15-90 GHz.\
  • Provides atmospheric temperature measurements from the surface up to 40 km.
  • On board NOAA K/L/M as well as Aqua.
Instrument Facts
Responsible Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Heritage: Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU)
Swath: 1650 km
Spatial Resolution: 40 km horizontal at nadir
Mass: 100 kg
Duty Cycle: 100%
Data Rate: 3.2 kbps
Thermal Control By: Heater, central thermal bus, radiator
Thermal Operating Range: 0 to 20°
Field of View (FOV): ±49.5°
Instrument Instantaneous FOV: 3.3°
Pointing Requirements (platform+instrument, 3σ)
Control: 720 arcsec
Knowledge: 360 arcsec
Stability: 360 arcsec/sec
Jitter: 360 arcsec/sec
Physical Size: 65.5 x 29.9 x 59.2 cm (A1)
54.6 x 64.9 x 69.7 cm (A2)