Explore instruments used in NOAA POES mission.



NOAA POES data is freely and openly available to everyone.


NOAA's AVHRR sensor is carried on the POES mission, a constellation of polar orbiting weather satellites.


The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor is carried on the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES), a constellation of polar orbiting satellites.

Date of Launch Between 1979 (NOAA-06) and 2009 (NOAA-19)
Orbit Height 804 - 870 km (depending on the satellite)
Orbit Type Sun-synchronous circular, PM orbit
Repeat Cycle Daily

NOAA AVHRR is part of ESA's Third Party Missions Programme, in which ESA has an agreement with NOAA to distribute data products from the mission.

NOAA POES Objectives

The NOAA POES AVHRR's objectives include providing data for weather forecasting and vegetation studies. The data supports many applications, including the following:

  • Aerosols
  • Albedo and reflectance
  • Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperature
  • Liquid water and precipitation rate
  • Multi-purpose imagery (land and ocean)
  • Radiation budget
  • Sea ice cover, edge and thickness
  • Snow cover, edge and depth
  • Surface temperature (land and ocean)
  • Vegetation

NOAA POES Instruments

The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is a broad-band, four or five channel (depending on the model) scanner, sensing in the visible, near-infrared, and thermal infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. This sensor is carried on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES).

Download details of the spectral bands used on each of the three AVHRR instruments on the POES satellites.

Swath Width 3000 km
Resolution 1 km



Download data from the AVHRR L1B Master Dataset through the ESA TPM Online Dissemination system. The data is freely available to registered EO Sign In users.


ESA has carried out an extensive activity to produce a unique AVHRR L1B Master Dataset over Europe with the data of the NOAA 06 to 19 satellites during the period of 1 January 1981 to 31 December 2016. This dataset has been processed in whole with the same processor and the quality of each frame has been checked so that the homogeneity of products are ensured with regards to the defragmentation of data, documentation and processor software that are not anymore available from such a long time frame.

Furthermore this L1B Master Dataset was merged with data coming from different European contributors to reduce the time gaps of the data collection. For these reasons the AVHRR is one of the few instruments with such a long history that can be used to ensure sound statistical analysis for climatological studies from more than three decades.

Read more about the AVHRR dataset:

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