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Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): SMMR and SSM/I Pathfinder brightness temperature data (1978-1987)

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2007-02-06
Download Stats: last 12 months


The SMMR and SSM/I Pathfinder brightness temperatures provide scientists with more than 20 years of consistently processed, passive microwave data for use in climatological and earth science research. Each file represents gridded data for a single sensor channel and polarization, derived from either ascending or descending orbits for one day, thereby allowing discrimination of diurnal changes in earth surface processes.

Each data sets consists of three series: the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and a global projection. Grids represent spatially interpolated data. The interpolation techniques maximize the radiometric integrity of original brightness temperature values, maintain high spatial and temporal precision, and involve no averaging of original swath data.

SMMR coverage began October 1978 and continued through July 1987. Grid resolution is 25 km for all channels. SSM/I coverage began August 1987 and continues through the present. Processing is ongoing with current data available within three to six months of sensor data acquisition. Resolution is 25 km for all channels and 12.5 km for the 85 GHz channels.

A sample data set comprising selected SSM/I EASE-Grid brightness temperature data and time files for all three projections from September 8 (day 251), 1997 is included on this CD-ROM.

Citable as:  National Snow and Ice Data Centre; Armstrong, R. (2007): Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): SMMR and SSM/I Pathfinder brightness temperature data (1978-1987). NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: PPSM-SSMI


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record 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 binary and HDR formatted. Images are GIF formatted.

Related Documents

 PPSM SSMI data documentation

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: NIMBUS 7 Satellite

Computation Element: 1

Title Deployed on NIMBUS 7 Satellite
Abstract Deployed on NIMBUS 7 Satellite.
Input Description None
Output Description None
Software Reference None
Output Description None
  • long_name: Air Temperature
  • gcmd_name: Air Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Air Temperature,
  • long_name: Albedo
  • gcmd_name: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo,
  • long_name: Atmospheric Stability
  • gcmd_name: Atmospheric Stability
  • gcmd_url:
  • names:, Atmospheric Stability
  • long_name: Boundary Layer Stratification Parameter
  • names: Boundary Layer Stratification Parameter
  • long_name: Brightness Temperature
  • gcmd_name: Brightness Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Brightness Temperature,
  • long_name: Cloud Amount
  • names: Cloud Amount
  • long_name: Cloud Fraction
  • names: Cloud Fraction
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Cloud Top Pressure
  • gcmd_name: Cloud Top Pressure
  • names: Cloud Top Pressure,
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature
  • gcmd_name: Cloud Top Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Cloud Top Temperature,
  • long_name: Emissivity
  • gcmd_name: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Emissivity
  • gcmd_url:
  • 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_name: Ice Extent
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Ice Extent,
  • long_name: Ice Growth
  • names: Ice Growth
  • long_name: Ice Temperature
  • gcmd_name: Ice Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Ice Temperature,
  • long_name: Ice Types
  • gcmd_name: Ice Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • names:, Ice Types
  • gcmd_name: Ice Velocity
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Ice Velocity
  • names: Ice Velocity,
  • long_name: Melt
  • names: Melt
  • long_name: Microwave
  • gcmd_name: EARTH SCIENCE > Spectral/Engineering > Microwave
  • gcmd_url:
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Spectral/Engineering > Microwave
  • long_name: Microwave Surface Emissivity
  • names: Microwave Surface Emissivity
  • long_name: Precipitable Water
  • gcmd_name: Precipitable Water
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Precipitable Water,
  • long_name: Sea Ice Concentration
  • gcmd_name: Sea Ice Concentration
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Sea Ice Concentration,
  • long_name: Sea Ice Motion
  • gcmd_name: Sea Ice Motion
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Sea Ice Motion,
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Skin Temperature
  • gcmd_name: Skin Temperature
  • names:, Skin Temperature
  • gcmd_name: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Snow
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • long_name: Solar Irradiance
  • gcmd_name: Solar Irradiance
  • gcmd_url:
  • 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_name: Upper Level Winds
  • gcmd_url:
  • names:, Upper Level Winds

Co-ordinate Variables

Temporal Range
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Geographic Extent