NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of SSM/I and SSMIS Microwave Brightness Temperatures, RSS Version 7

Metadata Updated: February 27, 2019

This Version 7 NOAA Fundamental Climate Data Record (CDR) from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) contains brightness temperatures that have been inter-calibrated and homogenized over the observation time period. The temperature data are from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS) series of passive microwave radiometers carried onboard the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites. These satellite sensors measure the natural microwave emission coming from the Earth’s surface in the spectral band from 19 to 85 GHz. This dataset encompasses data from a total of seven satellites including the SSM/I sensors on board DMSP satellites F08, F10, F11, F13, F14, and F15 as well as the SSMIS sensors on board DMSP satellite F17. The data record covers the time period from July 1987 through the present with a one month latency. The spatial and temporal resolutions of the CDR files correspond to the original resolution of the source SSMI(S) observations. There are roughly 15 orbits per day with a swath width of approximately 1400 km resulting in nearly global daily coverage. The spatial resolution of the data is a function of the sensor/channel and varies from approximately 50 km for the lowest frequency channels to approximately 15km for the high-frequency channels. The output parameters include the observed brightness temperatures for each of the seven SSM/I channels and 24 SSMIS channels at the original sensor channel resolution along with latitude and longitude information, time, quality flags, and view angle information. The file format is netCDF-4 with added metadata that follow the Climate and Forecast (CF) Conventions and Attribute Convention for Dataset Discovery (ACDD). There are three major changes in the Version 7 processing: (1) the water vapor continuum absorption model was re-derived, (2) the clear-sky bias in cloud water was removed and the data format for cloud water was changed, and (3) the beamfilling correction in the rain algorithm was modified. Relative to Version 6, Version 7 has: (1) increased vapor values in the range of 50-60 mm by 1%, (2) increased vapor values above 60 mm by 2-3%, (3) cloud data changed to the range of cloud water values: -0.05 to 2.45 mm (cloud data format has changed), and (4) increased the global mean rain rates by about 16% (mostly due to changes in the extratropical values).

Access & Use Information

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date November 5, 2018
Metadata Created Date September 26, 2015
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) August 22, 2013 (publication)
Frequency Of Update monthly

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Graphic Preview

SSM/I Ascending 19 Vertical GHz Antenna Temperature

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date November 5, 2018
Metadata Created Date September 26, 2015
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) August 22, 2013 (publication)
Responsible Party DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Cite as: Frank J. Wentz, Carl A. Mears, and NOAA CDR Program (2013): NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of SSM/I and SSMIS Microwave Brightness Temperatures, RSS Version 7. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5SJ1HKZ [access date]., Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives., Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Bbox East Long 180.0
Bbox North Lat 90.0
Bbox South Lat -90.0
Bbox West Long -180.0
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update monthly
Graphic Preview Description SSM/I Ascending 19 Vertical GHz Antenna Temperature
Graphic Preview File
Graphic Preview Type PNG
Guid gov.noaa.ncdc:C00810
Harvest Object Id 4fa519b5-cc2a-492c-b183-5ff62e4b4b27
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Licence For a complete description of use limitations for this CDR, see the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress onGoing
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 1987-07-09

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.