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Science Objectives

The primary mission of MASTER is to:

  • Collect ASTER-like and MODIS-like land datasets to support the validation of the ASTER and MODIS geophysical retrieval algorithms.
  • Collect these datasets at a higher resolution than the spaceborne datasets to permit scaling studies and comparisons with in-situ measurements.
  • Underfly the EOS-AM1 ASTER and MODIS sensors to provide an additional radiometric calibration to assist with in-flight instrument performance characterization. This is particularly important for ASTER where on-board calibration is dependent on a single black-body in the TIR and only partial aperture illumination in the VNIR.

A secondary mission of MASTER is to:

  • Provide both a back-up instrument and backup modules for the current MODIS Airborne simulator, which is committed to a program of atmospheric and oceanic measurements.
  • Provide a wider spectral and dynamic range alternative to the use of the Thematic Mapper (TM) airborne simulator and Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) airborne scanners.