PATHFINDER High Resolution
Surface Radiative Fluxes

Department of Meteorology
University of Maryland, College Park

Department of Meterology


Project Description

Available Data


Planned Activity

Known Problems

Data Access





Specialized Data Sets

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Under the joint NOAA/NASA PATHFINDER activity (Ohring and Dodge, 1992), uniform, long term data sets  prepared from  numerous  satellites observations, are being merged  into homogeneous time series. Some of these data are processed into reduced resolution, multi-satellite, global coverage information, while others are available independently for each satellite from which the observations have been made. The International Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) D1 data (Schiffer and Rossow, 1985), represent one type of satellite PATHFINDER data. They are of global coverage, at 2.5 degree spatial resolution. The input to the global product are observations made by several geostationary satellites, e.g., two from the United States (GOES), one European (METEOSAT), one Japanese (GMS), and several polar orbiting satellites. The observations used as the basis for the ISCCP D1 product are sampled at about 30 km, and are known as ISCCP DX data. Both data sets have a temporal resolution of three hours. The ISCCP DX data are of particular interest to scientists working on land-atmosphere interactions and hydrologic modeling (e.g. Woods et al., 1997), due to their relatively high spatial resolution, representation of the diurnal cycle, and long term availability. They can also be considered as precursors to data streams anticipated under the EOS missions, such as the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer Activity (MODIS).  Surface and Top of the Atmosphere shortwave radiative fluxes based on the PATHFINDER D1 and DX data will be provided at this Web site.  More detailed information on the ISCCP data can be found at:

Maintained by Banglin Zhang and Chuan Li