MODIS stands for MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. This sensor, equipped with over 30 spectral channels from the visible into the infrared frequency range operates from aboard the EOS-TERRA and EOS-AQUA satellites since 2000 and 2002, respectively. Thanks to its high spectral resolution and the large number of different channels a large number of different atmospheric parameters can be retrieved. Here we refer to the temperature profile data set.
Similar to the data sets of the MODIS atmospheric water vapor / precipitable water content atmospheric temperature profiles are derived by means of a statistical regression analysis. Vertical profiles of temperature, moisture and ozone measured globally by radiosondes are used to compute MODIS infrared band radiances using a radiative transfer / transmission model. A regression analysis between the computed radiances and the measured atmospheric profiles is carried out to derive the regression coefficients. These are subsequently applied to the actual MODIS radiance measurements to retrieve the profiles of atmospheric parameters - here the temperature.
More information about the data sets can be found on the MODIS-Atmosphere Group webpage and in the references section - here in particular in the article by King et al. (2003).
This is part of the level-3 MOD08/MYD08 data set derived from level-2 MOD07/MYD07 data of the MODIS Collection 006 product family, downloaded summer / fall 2015.
Last update of data set at ICDC: July 6, 2017