After some weeks of preparation and testing, these satellite pages are now formally linked to the NCAR and MMM web pages. In particular, the Satellite Coverage and Orbits section has undergone a lot of work. Check it out!

The Java based water vapor animation loop (130 k) has been big hit during the initial testing.

Satellite Observations of the Atmosphere

David B. Johnson

Satellite observations are becoming critical to an increasing number of atmospheric phenomena. Use of satellite data requires an appreciation for the satellite's orbital constraints and instrumental limitations. These pages are intended to provide a general overview of some of the features of satellite data sets available to NCAR and UCAR scientists, as well as some tips how to access data.

To support enhanced access to satellite data, NCAR Director Dr. Robert Serafin allocated funds from the Director's 1995 Equipment and Instrumentation Fund for the acquisition of a GOES-8 receiving station and commercial software for processing real-time satellite data. That system is now installed at NCAR's Foothills Laboratory and is fully up and operating.

Information about NCAR's new GOES-8 system

REAL TIME satellite imagery from NCAR's system

These pages are optimized for Netscape 2.0, or later. All the information should still be there for users using other browsers, but the pages may not be as pretty. The critical features are background color and Java support, although other features are used as well.

Featured Image

CAPTION: This image is an infrared image of the earth in the water vapor absorption band at 6.7 microns, collected by the GOES-8 geostationary satellite. In this false color image the darker areas represent colder temperatures and the lighter areas indicate warmer temperatures. The pattern reflects the distribution of water vapor and liquid water in the mid and upper troposphere.

A LARGER reproduction of the same image, with twice the resolution is shown in the Image Gallery.

Two versions of a short, seven frame animation loop (130 k, each) showing this water vapor imagery are also available:

The recommended version of the animation requires Java.

The alternate version of the animation uses a sequantial display of a multiframe gif file (requires Netscape 2.0 or higher).

Additional Images and Information

Image Gallery (currently 40 k, but with many optional links)

The Image Gallery presents a large (at least it will be getting large pretty soon) number of interesting examples of satellite imagery from a variety of different Projects and satellite systems.

Examples of archived data for STERAO-A
(86 k, but with optional links to large image files)
This link shows some examples of the Colorado area window for which GOES-8 imagery data is being archived during the current STERAO-A project.

Recent Imagery Covering Panama

This link presents recent satellite imagery, both visible and infrared, over Panama. It is intended as a source of background information for scientists interested in the Proposed STERAO-B program.

How do I get Satellite Data?
A discussion of a variety of data sources, including NCAR's new GOES-8 system.

Satellite Coverage and Orbits (86 k)

Background information about the limits of coverage and orbits for Geostationary and Polar Orbiting satellites.

External Links (57 k)

Links to a number of other WWW sites that provide satellite imagery and information.

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NCAR Home Page

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Questions or comments? Contact David B. Johnson at
last updated, 6/28/96