The Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) provides global Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from space to the highest possible levels of accuracy and stability, as required for climate research and monitoring; growing applications are SST analyses, operational oceanography and weather forecasting. AATSR data provide information on land surface temperature, clouds, aerosols (including dust), vegetation, and snow cover in addition to calibrated, reference radiances and imagery.
It is the third in the ATSR series, and is onboard Envisat, ESA's largest ever satellite, which was launched in March 2002 and is currently flying in a polar orbit, with a payload of 10 instruments providing data about the Earth's surface and atmosphere.
The AATSR programme is funded jointly by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). AATSR will establish continuity of the ATSR-1 and ATSR-2 data sets leading to the production of a unique 10-15 year record of global sea surface temperatures.
The AATSR is currently functioning very well and is clearly meeting its performance objective of 0.3 K accuracy in SST. Further details on the performance of the AATSR instrument can be found here, which summarises recent validation results and will provide up to date information on instrument performance.