2.15. VIIRS


Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) This instrument is on a polar-orbiting satellite providing global observations related to the atmosphere, oceans, and Earth’s surface. This information is focused on aerosol optical thickness (other VIIRS products are available).


Sample image


Image from NOAA/STAR

Recommended use

Evaluating aerosol properties with remotely-sensed data

File format


Location of data

VIIRS Atmosphere: https://earthdata.nasa.gov/earth-observation-data/near-real-time/download-nrt-data/viirs-a-nrt

VIIRS Land: https://earthdata.nasa.gov/earth-observation-data/near-real-time/download-nrt-data/viirs-nrt

Access restrictions

Requires a free Earthdata account

Spatial resolution, grid, or coverage

Global coverage via polar orbiting swaths, with approximately 1 pass per day per given location near the equator

At-nadir resolution of 6 km x 6 km

Temporal resolution

6 min

Starting and/or ending dates

For Level 2 Dust AOD: 1 March 2012-Present

Data latency

147 min

Variables available

Aerosol optical thickness at 550 nm over land, ocean, and land/ocean

METplus Use Cases

Link to METplus Use Cases for this dataset.



Current Dataset: VxDataVIIRS


Data Labels: DataTypeGridded, DataLevelSatellite, DataProviderNASA, DataApplicationShortRange, DataApplicationMediumRange