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Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): AVHRR Polar Pathfinder 1.25 km data (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: 80 Files | 111MB


The AVHRR Polar Pathfinder 1.25 km data set provides information about polar climate and geophysical processes at the highest practical spatial and temporal resolution. For the first time, daily composites of AVHRR-collected cryospheric variables are compiled at a resolution suitable for regional and local monitoring, and process studies, of changing surface conditions such as sea ice formation, sea ice motion and ice sheet extent. The higher resolution provides the closest link between field data and the greater perspective afforded by a satellite view.

Products include daily sea-ice motion vector fields and twice-daily composited images of albedo, skin surface temperature, and the calibrated and geolocated AVHRR channel data used to generate them. Products are mapped to the NSIDC Equal-Area Scalable Earth-Grid (EASE-Grid, Armstrong and Brodzik 1995). Spatial coverage includes both hemispheres, extending poleward of 50 degrees N and 53 degrees S latitudes. Temporal coverage begins September 1993 and extends through the present (1998). Plans are to continue acquisition and processing for 18 months after the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) becomes operational.

For this AVHRR Pathfinder demonstration, three regions have been selected from 1997 Northern Hemisphere composites to correspond to areas of active field programs and ongoing research. These areas, the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) study region in the Beaufort Sea, the ETH/CU Camp in western Greenland, and Point Barrow, Alaska, cover the main polar surface types: sea ice cover, permanent ice sheets, and polar lands. Time-series visualizations are provided rather than a sample of the data product, to conserve space on the CD-ROM.

Citable as:  National Snow and Ice Data Centre; Scambos, T.; Maslanik, J.; Haran, T. (2007): Polar Pathfinder Sampler (PPSM): AVHRR Polar Pathfinder 1.25 km data (1978-1996). NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: PPSM-AVHRR-1_25
Keywords: PPSM


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:
Image files are GIF formatted. Movie files 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_keyword: Air Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Air Temperature,
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Albedo
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: 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
  • gcmd_keyword: Brightness Temperature
  • long_name: Brightness Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Brightness Temperature,
  • long_name: Cloud Amount
  • names: Cloud Amount
  • long_name: Cloud Fraction
  • names: Cloud Fraction
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Pressure
  • long_name: Cloud Top Pressure
  • names: Cloud Top Pressure,
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Temperature
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • 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
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Temperature
  • long_name: Ice Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Ice Temperature,
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • long_name: Ice Types
  • names:, Ice Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Ice Velocity
  • long_name: Ice Velocity
  • names: Ice Velocity,
  • long_name: Melt
  • names: Melt
  • long_name: Microwave
  • gcmd_keyword: 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_keyword: Precipitable Water
  • gcmd_url:
  • 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_keyword: Sea Ice Motion
  • gcmd_url:
  • names: Sea Ice Motion,
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Skin Temperature
  • long_name: Skin Temperature
  • names:, Skin Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • long_name: Snow
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Snow
  • gcmd_keyword: Solar Irradiance
  • long_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_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Upper Level Winds
  • names:, Upper Level Winds

Co-ordinate Variables

Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent