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Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): AVHRR Polar Pathfinder 5 km (1978-1996)

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 1998-12-17
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2007-02-06
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 79 Files | 221MB


The AVHRR Polar Pathfinder 5 km data set provides a time-series overview of each pole. It contains a high level of detail, yet still shows the entirety of each polar region. For the first time, daily composites of AVHRR-collected variables are compiled at a resolution suitable for process studies on a hemispheric scale.

Temporal coverage begins in July 1981 and continues through the present, thereby extending the temporal coverage of upcoming MODIS and and other AM-1 products. Calibrated channel data, surface broadband albedo, surface (skin) temperature, and ancillary data, including solar zenith angles, relative azimuth angles, satellite elevation angles, time of pixel, cloud mask, orbit masks, and surface-type masks, are provided. These ancillary data allow users to apply algorithms of their choice to calculate albedo and surface temperature. Additionally, albedo and surface (skin) temperature have been compiled along with the other data sets noted above into composites at two selected local times for each day. These products are mapped to the EASE-Grid. Also included are ice motion products which include displacement vectors that provide an historical record of ice motion prior to the availability of ERS-1, ERS-2, and RADARSAT-derived ice products, and offer greater spatial coverage than is currently available from buoys or radar data for the Arctic and Antarctic.

The 5 km resolution AVHRR sample data on this CD-ROM covers both poles and comprises the same products as does the full data set, with the exception of ice motion. The CD-ROM contains data for September 8, 1997. Additionally, five movies for various periods in 1988 and 1989 illustrate some of the characteristics of the 5 km data when viewed as time series. One movie illustrates a novel "background" clear-sky skin temperature application. Five km AVHRR Polar Pathfinder products were averaged into 25 km grid cells, providing browse products for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The 25 km browse products also provide means of analyzing conditions and trends at a more manageable data volume.

Please note that only portions of the complete time series are available for distribution at the time of release of this CD-ROM.

Citable as:  National Snow and Ice Data Centre; Fowler, C.; Maslanik, J. (2007): Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): AVHRR Polar Pathfinder 5 km (1978-1996). NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: PPSM-AVHRR-5km
Keywords: PPSM


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
No related previous identifiers.
Access rules:
Public data: access to these data is available to both registered and non-registered users.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

CD-ROM data produced by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre and published in 2000. Data are stored at the BADC.

Data Quality:
File Format:
Data are HDF, HRD and binary formatted. Images are GIF formatted. Movies are MPEG formatted

Process overview

This dataset was generated by a combination of instruments deployed on platforms and computations as detailed below.

Mobile platform operations

Mobile Platform Operation 1 Mobile Platform Operation for: NOAA Polar Orbiting environmental satellites (POES)

Computation Element: 1

Title deployed on NOAA Polar Orbiting environmental satellites (POES)
Abstract This computation involved: deployed on NOAA Polar Orbiting environmental satellites (POES).
Input Description None
Output Description None
Software Reference None
Output Description


  • long_name: Air Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Air Temperature
  • names: Air Temperature,
  • long_name: Albedo
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo,
  • long_name: Atmospheric Stability
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Atmospheric Stability
  • names:, Atmospheric Stability
  • long_name: Boundary Layer Stratification Parameter
  • names: Boundary Layer Stratification Parameter
  • long_name: Brightness Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Brightness Temperature
  • names: Brightness Temperature,
  • long_name: Cloud Amount
  • names: Cloud Amount
  • long_name: Cloud Fraction
  • names: Cloud Fraction
  • long_name: Cloud Top Pressure
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Pressure
  • names: Cloud Top Pressure,
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Temperature
  • names: Cloud Top Temperature,
  • long_name: Emissivity
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Emissivity
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Emissivity,
  • long_name: Frequency
  • names: Frequency
  • long_name: Geostrophic Drag Co-Efficient
  • names: Geostrophic Drag Co-Efficient
  • long_name: Ice
  • names: Ice
  • long_name: Ice Extent
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Extent
  • names: Ice Extent,
  • long_name: Ice Growth
  • names: Ice Growth
  • long_name: Ice Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Temperature
  • names: Ice Temperature,
  • long_name: Ice Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Types
  • names:, Ice Types
  • long_name: Ice Velocity
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Velocity
  • names: Ice Velocity,
  • long_name: Melt
  • names: Melt
  • long_name: Microwave
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Spectral/Engineering > Microwave
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Spectral/Engineering > Microwave
  • long_name: Microwave Surface Emissivity
  • names: Microwave Surface Emissivity
  • long_name: Precipitable Water
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Precipitable Water
  • names: Precipitable Water,
  • long_name: Sea Ice Concentration
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Sea Ice Concentration
  • names: Sea Ice Concentration,
  • long_name: Sea Ice Motion
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Sea Ice Motion
  • names: Sea Ice Motion,
  • long_name: Skin Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Skin Temperature
  • names:, Skin Temperature
  • long_name: Snow
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • long_name: Solar Irradiance
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Solar Irradiance
  • names:, Solar Irradiance
  • long_name: Solar Zenith Angle
  • names: Solar Zenith Angle
  • long_name: Surface (Skin) Temperature
  • names: Surface (Skin) Temperature
  • long_name: Surface Broadband Albedo
  • names: Surface Broadband Albedo
  • long_name: Total Effective Cloud Fraction
  • names: Total Effective Cloud Fraction
  • long_name: Turning Angle
  • names: Turning Angle
  • long_name: Upper Level Winds
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Upper Level Winds
  • names:, Upper Level Winds

Co-ordinate Variables

Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent