Data Products  › Product & Algorithm
In order to utilize AMSR and AMSR-E data, product format and algorithm overviews, how to access products, and useful tools for display and analysis them are introduced.

Product & Algorithm


AMSR standard products will be distributed to general scientific users from the Earth Observation Center (EOC) after the initial calibration and validation period. EORC is responsible for processing and distributing research products (products involving new concepts or that are not fully validated yet). Several user services, including subset image distribution, will also be available at EORC.
NASA AMSR-E science team also has its own processing system and generates geophysical products for AMSR-E. Both NASA and JAXA science teams are competitively developing algorithms for better products eventually.

AMSR/AMSR-E Data Release
  • The available products
    • Level1A (Law sensor counts with radiometric and geometric information)
    • Level1B (Brightness temperatures converted from L1A)
    • Level1B Map (Map projected products of L1B subset)
    • Level2 (Geophysical parameters retrieved from L1B product)
    • Level2 Map (Map projected products of L2 subset)
    • Level3 (Daily and monthly global average of L1B and L2 products)
    • AMSR-E Slow Rotation Data

  • Product Level
    There are several levels of AMSR/AMSR-E standard products.
    Level 1A Engineering values from the instrument. For AMSR/AMSR-E, they correspond to digital numbers (DN) converted from instrument output voltages. Other necessary information for higher-level processing, including satellite attitudes and the instrument condition, is also included. Data are not map-projected, but stored in the swath format.
    Level 1BFundamental physical values observed by the instrument. For AMSR/AMSR-E, they correspond to brightness temperatures. Data location and quality information are also included. Data are not map-projected, but stored in the swath format.
    Level 2Geophysical parameters estimated by retrieval algorithms. Data location and quality information are also included. Data are not map-projected, but stored in the swath format.
    Level 3Temporal and spatial averaged values are projected onto global grids. For AMSR/AMSR-E, daily and monthly global grids are generated for brightness temperatures and geophysical parameters.
    Map-projected products are available for level 1B and 2.
    Near real-time products are distributed to specific operational institutes such as the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Japan Fisheries Information Service Center. They are utilized for practical purposes such as weather forecasting or fishery predictions.

  • Geophysical products
    The following geophysical parameters are produced as level 2 and 3 standard products. Research products will be upgraded to standard products after the algorithm is modified and validated.

    * Standard Products

    Geophysical parameter Region Dynamic range Target accuracy
    Integrated Water Vapor (Total Precipitable Water) Global Ocean 1) 0-70kg/m2 3.5kg/m2 Columnar value
    Integrated Cloud Liquid Water Global Ocean 1) 0-1.0 kg/m2 0.05kg/m2 Columnar value
    Precipitation Global Ocean 2) 0-20 mm/h 10% Surface rainfall rate and accumulated rainfall amount
    Sea Surface Wind Speed Global Ocean 1) 0-30 m/s 1.5 m/s
    Sea Surface Temperature Global Ocean 1) -2 - 35 deg.C 0.5 deg. C Available through cloud
    Sea Ice Concentration Both polar-regions and Sea of Okhotsk 0-100 % 10 % 
    Snow Water Equivalent Land area except forest region T.B.D. 20% or 10mm (water equivalent), 20% or 5cm (depth)
    Soil Moistnre
    (AMSR-E only)
    Land area except ice sheet and dense forest T.B.D. T.B.D.
    1) Except sea- ice and precipitation area.2)Except sea- ice area.

    Caveats for the standard products
    AMSR Level1 Version 1.0AMSR-E Level1 Version 1.0

    AMSR Level2 Version 1.0AMSR-E Level2 Version 2.0
    AMSR-E Level2 Version 1.0

    * Research Products

    Soil Moisture(AMSR only) / Bare soil and grassland

    * AMSR-E Slow Rotation Data

2. Retrieval Algorithms

Retrieval algorithms for AMSR standard products have been evaluated and selected through an algorithm inter-comparison process by the AMSR/AMSR-E Sensor Team. The inter-comparison procedure is mainly based on the comparison between in-situ or aircraft data and retrieved geophysical parameters from brightness temperatures of existing space-borne sensors such as the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). Final selection of the geophysical parameters that are retrieved from new channels, will be made during the validation phase using real brightness temperatures from AMSR. The inter-comparison will be carried on during the operational phase in order to improve the algorithm performance.
The principal investigator for each algorithm is as follows.

Algorithms for AMSR and AMSR-E

Geophysical productsStandard Algorithm Research Algorithm
Integrated water vaporTakeuchi-
Integrated cloud liquid waterWentz-
Sea surface wind speedShibata-
Sea surface temperatureShibataWentz
Sea ice concentrationComiso-
Snow depthChangKoike
Soil moisture
(AMSR-E only)
KoikeNjoku, Jackson,
Soil moisture
(AMSR only)
-Njoku, Jackson,
Paloscia, Koike

Algorithm Description(PDF: 1.5MB)