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MODIS Airborne Simulator (eMAS)


The Enhanced MODIS Airborne Simulator (eMAS) is an airborne scanning spectrometer that acquires high spatial resolution imagery of cloud and surface features from its vantage point on-board a NASA ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft.

Data acquired by the eMAS are helping to define, develop, test, and refine algorithms for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), a key sensor of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). The MODIS program emphasizes the use of remotely sensed data to monitor variation in environmental conditions for assessing global climate change.

The eMAS instrument is maintained and operated by the Airborne Sensor Facility (ASF) at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, under the oversight of the EOS Project Science Office at NASA Goddard. Instrument scheduling is coordinated by the ASF, with formal arrangements made via the NASA Airborne Science Program Flight Request System (you will need to register for a new account, if you are not already in the system). This process is the formal mechanism for requesting use of NASA's airborne science assets. Once the request is approved by the Airborne Science Program and funding is verified, the requester will be contacted to arrange scheduling and details of the data collection activity.

The eMAS instrument team devotes considerable effort to ensuring the quality and accuracy of its data products. If you publish scientific results involving eMAS data, please include a reference to:

King, Menzel, Grant, Myers, Arnold, Platnick, Gumley, Tsay, Moeller, Fitzgerald, Brown, and Osterwisch, 1996: Airborne scanning spectrometer for remote sensing of cloud, aerosol, water vapor and surface properties. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 13, 777-794.


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eMAS Returns To Flight
The eMAS instrument has been upgraded with new hardware and has returned to flight to participate in the high altitude portion of the FIREX-AQ Campaign.
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In Memoriam
It is with great sadness that the eMAS instrument team announces the passing of Michael T. Fitzgerald, a long-time member and friend of the Airborne Sensor Facility.

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News Archive and Technical Notes
Here you will find past news updates and technical notes for the eMAS Instrument.


The orbiting version of MAS on both the TERRA and AQUA satellites.
The sister instrument to eMAS which can be flown much closer to Earth's surface.
A 12-channel multispectral scanner designed for UAV applications; its roots go back to the earliest MAS missions.
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Earth Scene Imagery

eMAS sample imagery animation

These sample images represent the enormous repository of data from various campaigns collected over the past two decades.