VIIRS Capabilities

Table listing the channels on the VIIRS, OLS, and MODIS Imagers

With 36 imaging channels, MODIS was designed as a research and development imager. The operational VIIRS imager on board the Suomi NPP and future JPSS polar orbiters provides similar capabilities with 22 channels that represent 20 wavelengths. While that's fewer than MODIS, VIIRS has one channel from the DMSP OLS heritage imager that MODIS does not have, a day-night channel (also known as the Day Night Band) that can produce images at night when there's sufficient light from the moon or other sources.

before after


These two images show the improvements we are getting with VIIRS. With full moonlight, it's easy to see snow cover and low clouds over the mountainous terrain of northeastern Afghanistan.  High-level cirrus cloud is also visible in shades of light blue.