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The MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) is a modified Daedalus Wildfire scanning spectrometer which flies on a variety of multi-altitude research aircraft and provides spectral information similar to that which is provided by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), which is aboard two of NASA Earth Observing System Satellites, TERRA & AQUA.

The principal scientific investigator for MASTER is Dr. Simon Hook, an Earth Surface Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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

Hook, S. J. Myers, J. J., Thome, K. J., Fitzgerald, M. and A. B. Kahle, 2001:
The MODIS/ASTER airborne simulator (MASTER) - a new instrument for earth science studies.
Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 76, Issue 1, pp. 93-102.


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MASTER Completes WDTS 2021
MASTER has successfully completed the Western Diversity Time Series Spring 2021 Campaign.
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WDTS 2020 Fall Data Available
The Western Diversity Time Series Fall 2020 dataset has been processed to Level-1B and is available upon request.
FIREX-AQ Data Available
The Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality dataset has been processed to Level-1B and is available upon request.


The orbital version of MASTER on both the TERRA and AQUA satellites, part of the A-TRAIN series.
The sister instrument to MASTER which simulates the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at 50m resolution.
A 12-channel multispectral scanner designed for UAV applications; its roots go back to the earliest MASTER and eMAS missions.
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Sample Imagery
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Bobcat Fire Scar, CA
(April 2, 2021)
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R: 2.2µm
G: 0.7µm
B: 1.6µm