BackForwardInstrument:  FPR 

Instrument details
Acronym FPR
Full name Flat Plate Radiometer
Purpose Observation of the net radiation flux at the Top-Of-Atmosphere
Short description Two broad-band channels (solar reflected radiation and total Earth + atmosphere SW and LW radiation)
Background Precursor of instruments for Earth Radiation Budget from space, flown as a prototype on Explorer 7 in 1959, and until the first NOAA satellite
Scanning Technique Non-scanning, hemispheric view
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Global, twice daily (LW) or daily (SW) for the ESSA series and NOAA; missing high latitudes for the TIROS series because of the medium-inclination orbit
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on operational programme
Utilization Period: 1961 to 1972
Last update: 2016-11-07
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • Broadband Earth radiation radiometer
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 1
  • Absolutely calibrated broadband radiometers, and TSI and SSI radiometers
  • Broadband radiometer (for ERB)
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Upward long-wave irradiance at TOA
  • Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA*2 - very highInformation on BRDF needed.SW and Total (SW+LW) broadband channels
Upward long-wave irradiance at TOA*2 - very highNo specific limitation.LW radiance achieved by difference between Total and SW