Instrument Overview

ERS-1 instruments
ERS mission instruments

The Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on board the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions consisted of two instruments, an Infra-Red Radiometer (IRR) and a Microwave Sounder (MWS). On board ERS-1 the IRR had four channels and was used for measuring sea-surface temperatures (SST) and cloud-top temperatures; on board ERS-2 the IRR was enhanced with additional visible channels for vegetation monitoring. The MWS was a two channel passive radiometer.

The IRR was designed and constructed by a consortium consisting of: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxford University, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the UK Meteorological Office and CSIRO in Australia.

The MWS was built under the responsibility of Centre de Recherche en Physique de l'Environnement (CRPE) and was physically attached to the IRR and its data was merged with that of the IRR prior to transmission to the ground receiving stations.

Both were nationally funded experiments resulting from an ESA Announcement of Opportunity for a scientific add-on package.

The ERS-1 mission launched on 17 July 1991 and ended on 10 March 2000, ERS-2 was launched on 21 April 1995 and retired on 5 September 2011.




All ERS ATSR products, in accordance with ESA Earth Observation Data Policy, are freely available o registered users via FTP. Read more about the available products and the registration process which is required to access them:

Processor Releases

Read more about ATSR's Instrument Processing Facilities


Tools available for visualising, processing and analysing ERS programme data:

Sentinel-3 Toolbox

Sentinel-3 Toolbox consists of a rich set of visualisation, analysis and processing tools for the exploitation of OLCI and SLSTR data from the upcoming Sentinel-3 mission. As a multi-mission remote sensing toolbox, it supports ESA's Envisat mission (MERIS and AATSR instruments).

Read more

Sentinel Application Platform

Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) is a common architecture for all Sentinel Toolboxes. It is ideal for Earth Observation processing and analysis due to technological innovations.

Read more


Quality Control is monitoring routinely the status of the spacecraft (payload and platform) and to check if the derived products meet the quality requirements along mission life-time.

Auxiliary Data

Auxiliary data from ground or airborne sources is sometimes used to help produce data products. Auxiliary data files for ATSR data products are available to download.

Read more


The goal of ATSR calibration and validation activities was to verify the accuracy and quality of data the instrument acquired. ATSR Calibration and Validation activities and reports are available.

Quality Control Reports

ATSR Quality Control Reports detail the availability of products, any anomalies and the Pick-up Noise issue that affected some products.