Bahamas, captured by MERIS
Bahamas, captured by MERIS on 24 Jan 2004

The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) was a programmable spectrometer on board the Envisat mission, operating in the solar reflective spectral range. Although primarily dedicated to ocean colour observations, MERIS broadened its scope of objectives to atmospheric and land surface related studies. MERIS had a high spectral and radiometric resolution and a dual spatial resolution, within a global mission covering open ocean and coastal zone waters and a regional mission covering land surfaces.

One of the most outstanding features of MERIS was the programmability of its spectral bands in their width and position.

MERIS was developed under the leadership of ALCATEL Space Industries. MERIS was operational throughout the Envisat mission lifetime, from 2002 to 2012, and the first data from the instrument was available from May 2002.




Download data from the Envisat MERIS mission through the MERIS Online Dissemination Service. The data is freely available to registered users.


All Envisat MERIS products, in accordance with ESA Earth Observation Data Policy, are freely available to users. Read more about the available MERIS products:

Learn more about the processor releases applicable for MERIS products.


Tools available for visualising, processing and analysing MERIS data:


The purpose of the AMORGOS (Accurate MERIS Ortho-Rectified Geo-location Operational Software) tool is to generate accurate geo-location GOS E information.


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The ODESA (Optical Data processor of the European Space Agency) system provides the users a complete level 2 processing environment for the MERIS instrument.


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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).

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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.

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Auxiliary Data

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

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The goal of MERIS calibration and validation activities was to verify the accuracy and quality of data the instrument acquired. 

MERIS Quality Control Reports

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. Cyclical Quality Reports and Level 3 product reports are available for MERIS quality monitoring.