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GHRSST Level 2P Global Skin Sea Surface Temperature from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Terra satellite

The Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is a scientific instrument (radiometer) launched by NASA in 1999 on board the Terra satellite platform (a second series is on the Aqua platform) to study global dynamics of the Earths atmosphere, land and oceans. MODIS captures data in 36 spectral bands ranging in wavelength from 0.4 um to 14.4 um and at varying spatial resolutions (2 bands at 250 m, 5 bands at 500 m and 29 bands at 1 km). For the sea surface temperature (SST) products from this radiometer channels in the 4, 11 and 12 um spectrum are used. The Terra platform is in a sun synchronous, near polar orbit at 705 km altitude and the MODIS instrument images the entire Earth every 1 to 2 days. The production of the MODIS L2P SST data as part of the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) is a joint collaboration between the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG), and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). RSMAS is responsible for sea surface temperature algorithm development, error statistics and quality flagging, while the OBPG is NASA ground data system for production of daily MODIS ocean products in HDF file format. JPL acquires MODIS ocean granules from the OBPG in near realtime and reformats them to the GHRSST L2P netCDF specification with complete metadata. Data consists of global coverage at 1 km resolution with approximately 300+ five minute observation granules per day. For nighttime data both SST from the 11-12 um, and 4 um bands are available. Ocean chlorophyll a and K490 diffuse attenuation coefficient data are also available for daytime periods as non standard L2P core fields.

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