Enhanced Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

Each year, millions of dollars in crop and property damage are avoided with to accurate weather forecasts made possible by Harris Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) imagery. AVHRR is the primary instrument on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) system. A new instrument, built on that success, the E-AVHRR (Enhanced AVHRR) has been developed to provide polar-orbiting imaging support for next-generation missions.

Enhanced AVHRR

The E-AVHRR builds on the legacy of the POES instruments. The enhancements include four additional channels, improved detectors achieving a one kilometer constant footprint, and updated electronics including onboard image processing. Channel selections, bandwidths, and signal processing algorithms were optimized to meet the mission requirements for customer community.

Forecasting Path and Severity of Storms

Images produced by AVHRR are used to track severe storms and then are combined with the data produced by Harris’ on-board sounder to accurately forecast the path and severity of storms. In addition to tracking storms, the AVHRR imager is useful for mapping water boundaries, lake volume fluctuations, snowmelt, vegetation indexes, and sea surface temperature monitoring.

AVHRR History

Harris’ AVHRR was first carried on TIROS-N, launched in October 1978 as a four-channel radiometer. It was later improved to a five-channel instrument, AVHRR/2, which was launched in June 1981 on board NOAA-7s.

Today, AVHRR/3 is internationally recognized as the operational imager for global weather data. It delivers improvements in performance and operational capabilities, including low light energy detection, snow/ice discrimination, forest fire detection, sea surface temperature, and global vegetation index. This six multispectral channel radiometer started its operational flight on NOAA-15, which launched in May 1998, and is also on board MetOP-1, Europe's first meteorological operational polar orbiting satellite.