Metr 415/715
Name ____________________________

Laboratory #2: Polar Orbiter Basics

100 points.

Resources to Help:

Kidder and Vonder Haar (Chapter 2 and 4.1)
Questions 3,4, 6

Class Handout Tutorial on Polar Orbiters
Questions 3, 4

University of Illinois Passive Remote Sensors: Polar Orbiting Satellites (POES) Online Guide Questions 2, 6

NOAA Office of Satellite Operations Spacecraft Summary Page
Question 5

NASA Polar Orbiting Earth Systems Monitoring (Water Systems, Surface Processes and Oceanography): Aqua and Terra and the MODIS Instrumentation System
Questions 7, 8


  1. Question 1 (20 points)

  2. What is the altitude and orbital period of polar orbiting (NOAA) vs. geostationary (GOES) weather satellites? (10 points)

  3. What does the phrase "sun synchronous orbit" mean? (10 points)

  4. What geographic coverage do polar orbiters provide that cannot be obtained from geostationary satellites? (5 points)

  5. What are the designations, and equator-crossing times of the currently operational (i.e. primary) AM and PM NOAA polar orbiting satellites? Note: LTAN = local time of ascent node (equator crossing time), often given in hh:mm:ss. (10 points)

  6. On the NOAA satellites is an instrument called AVHRR. What does that acronym mean?

  7. What are the TERRA and AQUA satellites? (10 points)

  8. On the TERRA & AQUA satellites is an instrument called MODIS. What does that acronym mean? (5 points)

  9. Print a black and white version of the MODIS image of Vancouver (2 MB). However, in doing this question, make sure that you look at the online version of this wonderful image...and clicking on the image will give you its full resolution and will allow you to make good judgments, even without experience.

    I realize that you have not yet had any satellite analysis techniques. But this image is so good, that I would like you take a try at locating the following (by putting the appropriate letter, right on the spot on the image in which you think you see evidence) (18 points):