Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) Infrared and Visible Radiometer (IVR), flight spare, as used on ERS-2 and Envisat satellites for Earth surface temperature measurements. Built by Astrium Ltd (Matra Marconi Space) 1995.
This instrument measured sea surface temperatures from the European Space Agency’s ERS-2 (1995-2011) and Envisat (2002-2012) satellites. The overlap of AATSR operations over two satellite progammes provided an enhanced period of data gathering (17 years) and in turn followed the ATSR (Along Track Scanning Radiometer) flown on the ERS-1 satellite (1991-2000). The total period of A/ATSR data gathering therefore extended over 21 years. The unique feature of A/ATSRs was their ability to scan ahead of their target as well as while overhead. This enabled the affects of the atmosphere on the data gathered to be compensated for, thus allowing for far more accurate measurements of surface temperatures. The A/ATSR was developed under an ESA contract by the UK’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Astrium (now Airbus Defence & Space) company. Funding came from UK research councils (SERC and then DEFRA) and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.