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AATSR Level 3 Products (ENVISAT.ATS.Level 3)

The prime scientific objective of the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) is to establish continuity of the ATSR-1 and ATSR-2 data sets of precise sea surface temperature (SST), thereby ensuring the production of a unique 10 year near-continuous data set at the levels of accuracy required (0.3 K or better) for climate research and for the community of operational as well as scientific users who have been developed through the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions.

The sea surface temperature (SST) files and plots are monthly means of the AATSR 30 arcmin and 10 arcmin spatially averaged dual-view SST product.
The average is weighted according to the number of full resolution measurements that were used to make up each AATSR SST.

The data are provided in PNG (portable network graphic image format) and HDF (Hierarchical Data Format at two spatial resolutions - 30 arcminutes and 10 arcminutes).
The HDF files contain 3 fields:

  • The Data grid contains the mean SST, as described above.
  • The Pixel grid contains the total number of full resolution AATSR measurements that have been part of the averaging.
  • The Number grid contains the number of spatially averaged AATSR SSTs that were used to make the average.

Sea surface temperature (SST) is one of the key measures made in studying the global climate system, essential in detecting climate change. Sea surface temperature levels are symptomatic of heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, and thus are an invaluable input in global climate research.

"Studying climate models show us we need at least 15 years' worth of data to differentiate a definite global temperature increase from the normal variability of climate," explained Professor Llewellyn-Jones from Leceister University. "Preliminary analysis of existing results does indicate a general upward trend, but we will be more certain with more time and more data."

Envisat/AATSR and its predecessors ERS-1/ATSR-1 and ERS-2/ATSR-2 are about to complete 15 years of Sea Surface Temperature measurements with the accuracy required for climate research. In anticipation and as a demonstration, global SST Level 3 products from AATSR from September 2002 to April 2004 have been generated at two spatial resolutions, 10 arcminutes and 30 arcminutes.

The AATSR programme is funded jointly by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (formally the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions), the Australian Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR), and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The level 3 products have been generated and provided by University of Leceister

Product Availability

The level 3 products have been generated and provided by the University of Leceister

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Data Set Specifications
Temporal Coverage:
2002 to 2005
Spatial Coverage:
90 N, 90 S, 180 W, 180 E
Data Type:
Optical/Multi Spectral Radiometry Low/Medium Resolution
ESRIN - Horizontal Resolution Range:
10 to 30 arcminutes
Processing Level:
Level 3
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Related links
Available Resources Type Format Access
AATSR Validation Principles and Definitions Technical Note Download  
AATSR Validation Measurement Protocol Technical Note Download  
AATSR Product Handbook User Manual   Go to page
AATSR Level 3Global SST Data Catalogue    
More AATSR Documentation   Go to page
More AATSR Documents Product Specifications   Go to page

Minimize ESA Earth Observation Campaigns Data

ESA has been involved in many Earth Observation campaigns over the past 25 years, from ground-based surveys, to ships at sea, aircraft and balloons in the atmosphere and the orbiting satellites in space.

To learn more about these campaigns and available datasets from them, please see the Campaigns page.