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GLOSSARY (jump to list of acronyms)
Absolute zero: The zero point of the Kelvin
temperature scale (0 K)
Absorption: The process by which incident radiant energy
is retained by a substance.
Advection: Horizontal transport of an atmospheric property.
Aerosols: Tiny solid or liquid particles that are suspended
in the atmosphere.
Air mass: A large body of air that has similar weather characteristics,
particularly temperature and humidity.
Air pollution: Contaminants present in the atmosphere such
as dust, gases or smoke.
Albedo: The percentage of light reflected by an object when
it is illuminated.
Altocumulus (Ac): Clouds in the mid-troposphere that are
gray or white in color and that occur as layers or patches with
Altostratus (As): Layered clouds in the mid-troposphere
that are gray or bluish in color.
Amplitude: Half the height from the crest to the trough
of the wave.
Angle of inclination: Tilt of the Earth with respect to
the imaginary plane linking the centers of the Sun and Earth. The
term is also to orbits of other planets and satellites.
Anthropogenic: Resulting from human activities.
Anvil Cloud: The upper flattened portion of a cumulonimbus
cloud that spreads out when it meets the tropopause.
Aphelion: The location in the orbit when Earth (or any other
planet) is farthest away from the Sun.
Atmosphere: The envelope of air surrounding the planet Earth
and held in place due to the Earths gravitational attraction. The
Earths atmosphere is subdivided vertically into the troposphere,
stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.
Atmospheric window: A narrow range of wavelengths in which
the atmosphere absorbs very little of the Earths emitted energy.
The best-known atmospheric window occurs between 10 and 12 microns.
Biosphere: The living component of the
Earth system. (between the lithosphere and the atmosphere)
Biogeochemical: Key chemical constituents essential to life.
(such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus etc
Biomass: The total amount of living material in a given
Blackbody: A hypothetical object that is a perfect absorber
and emitter of radiation.
Calorie and Joule: A unit of energy. The
amount of energy required to increase the temperature of one gram
of water by one degree C.
Carbon monoxide (CO): A colorless and odorless toxic gas.
It is found in the atmosphere at different levels of concentration.
Carbon dioxide (CO2): A critical atmospheric gas necessary
for photosynthesis. Carbon Dioxide is a major greenhouse gas produced
by the burning of fossil fuels.
Celsius temperature scale: A temperature scale where the
freezing point of water occurs at 0 ?C and the boiling point at
100?C, at sea level.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): An anthropogenic compound invented
by chemists in 1928 considered to be a major contributor to the
development of the stratospheric Ozone hole.
Cirrocumulus (Cc): Thin, ripply convective high clouds.
Cirrostratus (Cs): Layered high clouds that are whitish
in color and usually fibrous, but sometimes smooth, in appearance.
Cirrostratus often produce optical effects such as halos.
Cirrus (Ci): High clouds composed of ice-crystals that are
whitish in color and can appear as filaments, patches or narrow
Climate: A representation of a regions weather over a given
period of time. A region's climate is often characterized in terms
of the average and variation of the climate system over periods
of a month or more.
Climatology: The description and study of climate.
Cloud: An ensemble of water drops and/or ice particles in
the atmosphere above the earth's surface.
Coalescence: The merging of cloud drops into a single drop
after a collision.
Cold front: A type of front where colder air replaces warmer
Comma cloud: A features of extratropical cyclones observed
in satellite pictures where the cloud system resembles the comma
Condensation: Change from water vapor to liquid water.
Conduction: The transfer of energy from one object to another
due to the random motions of molecules. Conduction of heat is a
consequence of the temperature differences between two objects in
Convection: The transfer of energy by the movements of masses
in a liquid or a gas. In meteorology, convection infers vertical
movement or upward motions due to differential heating.
Convective clouds: A cloud that results from convection.
Convergence: The horizontal coming-together of air that
can lead to lifting.
Crepuscular rays: Beams of light from the sun caused by
a combination of shadows and scattering. These light and dark bands
usually occur at twilight.
Cryosphere: The part of the planet Earth covered with permanent
Cumulonimbus: Precipitation-producing thunderstorm clouds
with a flattened anvil-shaped top.
Cumulus: Low clouds that develop as individual, detached
elements with sharp outlines. The cloud has a flat base and bulges
Cumulus stage: The initial stage in the life cycle of a
Cyclogenesis: The development of a cyclone storm..
Density: The ratio of the mass of a substance
to the volume it occupies.
Derecho: An hours-long windstorm associated with a line
of severe thunderstorms. It is due to straight-line winds, not the
rotary winds of a tornado.
Dew point: (or dew point temperature)The temperature to
which air must be cooled at constant pressure and constant water
vapor content to become saturated.
Diffraction: The process by which radiation changes direction
and spreads out.
Dispersion: The process in which white light separates into
its component colors.
Diurnal: Daily, pertaining to actions completed within or
that recur every 24 hours.
Divergence: The horizontal spreading of air that can lead
to sinking motions.
Doppler radar: A radar that indirectly measures the wind
speed by detecting the change of frequency due to the Doppler effect
on radar waves that hit moving precipitation particles.
Eccentricity: The deviation of an ellipse
from a perfect circular shape.
Electromagnetic energy. See Radiation
Electromagnetic Spectrum: Electromagnetic radiation arranged
in order of frequency or wavelength.
El Niρo: Warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean between
South America and the Date Line.
Energy: The capacity to do work. Energy must be conserved,
though it can be converted between different forms.
Equinoxes: The time at which the Sun passes directly overhead
at the equator at noon.
Evaporation: The change of liquid water to water vapor.
Eye: The clear area of lowest pressure at the center of
a strong tropical cyclone.
Eye wall: The circular region of strong thunderstorms immediately
surrounding the eye.
Exosphere: The uppermost layer of the Earths outer atmosphere.
Fahrenheit temperature scale: A temperature
scale where the freezing point of water occurs at 32 degrees and
the boiling point at 212 F, at sea level.
Feedbacks: A sequence of interactions where one change leads
to some other change, which can act to either reinforce or inhibit
the original change.
Fog: A cloud that is in contact with the ground.
Force: The mass of an object multiplied by the change in
its speed and/or direction (acceleration).
Frictional force: The resistive force caused by wind blowing
over the Earths surface.
Frontal lifting: The forced lifting of warm, less dense
air over colder air in the vicinity of a front.
Front: The transition zone between two air masses of different
Fujita scale: A rating system designed to estimate the speed
of tornado winds based on the damage patterns caused by the tornado.
Funnel cloud: A tornadic circulation that does not reach
Geostationary Satellite: A satellite in
a geostationary earth orbit (GEO), circling the earth once every
24 hours. At an altitude of approximately 36,000 km, the satellite
appears stationary over a fixed point at the equator.
Gravitational force: The product of mass and gravitational
Gravity: The mutual attraction between two or more objects.
Greenhouse effect: The heating of the planet that results
from the fact that the atmosphere absorbs and emits infrared radiation.
Greenhouse gases: Gases in the atmosphere that are effective
absorbers of infrared radiation and ineffective at absorbing solar
Greenhouse warming: The possible heating of the planet over
and above the natural greenhouse effect as a result of increases
in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Halos: Whitish or colored rings or arcs
around the sun or moon that are produced by refraction of light
by ice crystals.
Haze: A suspension of small particles in the air, which
reduces visibility by scattering light.
Heat: A form of energy transferred between systems because
of the temperature differences between them.
Heat advection: The transfer of energy through the horizontal
movements of the air.
Hurricane: A tropical cyclone found in the Western Hemisphere.
See tropical cyclone.
Hydrocarbons: Compounds made of hydrogen and carbon atoms.
Hydrologic cycle: A complete description of how water moves
between the atmosphere, water surfaces, and land in all three phases.
Index of refraction: A measure of how optically
dense a substance is. It is the ratio of the speed of light in a
vacuum to the speed of light in a substance.
Insolation: The amount of solar radiation reaching the top
of Earth's atmosphere.
Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ): A convective region
separating the trade winds.
Ionosphere: The uppermost atmospheric shell characterized
by a high ion density.
Isobaric charts: These maps depict weather on constant pressure
surfaces and include information on the temperature, wind speed
and direction, humidity, and the altitude at a given pressure.
Isobar: A line connecting regions with the same atmospheric
Isopleth: A line on a map connecting locations with the
same value of a variable.
Isotach: A line connecting locations with the same wind
Isotherm: A line connecting locations with the same temperature.
Jet stream: A narrow region of relatively
strong winds (i.e., wind speeds greater than 70 knots) usually located
in the upper troposphere.
Joule: A unit used to measure amounts of energy. One Joule
equals 0.2389 calories.
Kelvin temperature scale: A temperature
scale of primary importance to thermodynamics where the freezing
point of water occurs at 273.16 K and the boiling point at 373.16
K, at sea level.
Kinetic energy: The energy an object posses because of its
Kirchhoffs Law: Objects that are good absorbers of radiation
are also good emitters of radiation.
Lake breeze: A wind that blows onshore
during the day around large lakes.
La Niρa: An extensive, below normal cooling of the central
and eastern tropical Pacifice Ocean
Land breeze: A wind that blows offshore, from land to water.
Lapse rate: The decrease of temperature with increasing
Latent heat: The amount of heat taken in or released by
water when it changes phase.
Lightning: A huge electric discharge that occurs between
the ground and a cloud, between clouds, or within a cloud.
Lithosphere: The solid portion of planet Earth, or landcover.
Longwave radiation: Radiant energy characterized by wavelengths
primarily between 4 and 100 *m with a maximum near 10 *m. Also known
as Terrestial radiation.
Mesocyclone: A vertical column of rotating
air within a severe thunderstorm.
Mesopause: The top of the mesosphere dividing the mesosphere
from the thermosphere.
Mesosphere: The region of the atmosphere above the stratosphere,
between the stratopause and mesopause. The mesosphere lies between
approximately 50 and 95 km.
Meteorology: The study of the atmosphere and the ways weather
is affected by interactions with the Earths land and water surfaces
and living things.
Methane (CH4): A greenhouse gas produced by the decomposition
of human and animal waste along with carbon based materials such
as coal, petroleum and bogs.
Microns: also called a micrometer, a unit of length equal
to one millionth of a meter.
Millibars (mb): Units of atmospheric pressure. The average
atmospheric pressure at sea level is 1013.25 mb.
Molecules: Composed of atoms, molecules are the smallest
units of a substance that retain the chemical properties of that
Momentum: The product of mass and velocity.
Newton, Sir Isaac: Famous English physicist
and mathematician. (1642-1727)
Newtons Law of Gravity: The gravitational force between
a pair of objects.
Newtons Laws of Motion: Three fundamental postulates describing
the basis of the mechanics of rigid bodies. (Law of Inertia, Conservation
of Momentum, and the Principle of action and reaction)
Nimbostratus: A precipitation-producing layered clouds.
Nitric oxide (NO): A byproduct of high temperature combustion,
such as in automobile engines and electric power generation.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): A gas found at all levels of the
atmosphere, it is also emitted by automobile engines. High concentrations
of NO2 give polluted air its reddish-brown color.
Obliquity: The angle between earth's orbit
plane and the plane of the earth's equator, the tilt of the earth.
Currently, this value is approximately 23.5?.
Occluded front: A front that forms as a cyclone moves deeper
into colder air.
Ozone (O3): A chemically active molecule in the atmosphere.
Ozone layer: A layer in the stratosphere with a maximum
of ozone concentration.
Ozone Hole: A depletion of stratospheric ozone that occurs
over the Antarctic continent each spring.
Particulates: Airborne solid and liquid
aerosols that, when in high concentrations, seriously affect the
lives of people and animals, harm plants, or threaten ecosystems.
Perihelion: The point on the Earth's orbit when it is closest
to the Sun.
Photons: Particles of light, the elementary quantity of
Potential energy: The energy an object has by virtue of
Power: The rate of change of energy over time, often expressed
Precession: The wobble of the Earth's axis. This alters
the relationship of the solstices with the distance from the Earth
to the Sun.
Precipitation: Liquid or solid water particles that falling
from clouds that reaches the ground.
Pressure: Force per unit area.
Pressure gradient force: Change in pressure over distance,
divided by the air density.
Radar: An instrument used for detecting
the presence and distance of objects, such as rain drops, by scattering
Radar echo: The energy scattered back from a target and
detected by the radar receiver. The amount of energy received by
the radar is the reflectivity.
Radiant energy. See Radiation
Radiation: Energy that moves through space or a medium in
the form of a wave with electric and magnetic fields. Also called
Radiometer: An instrument that measures radiation power.
Radiosonde (Rawinsonde): An instrument package carried upward
by weather balloons to measure the vertical profile of atmospheric
temperature, relative humidity and pressure from the surface into
the stratosphere. The wind direction and speed are measured by tracking
the weather balloons motion.
Rainbow : An arcs of the color spectrum caused by the reflection
and refraction of light by raindrops.
Reflection: The process in which energy incident on the
surface is turned back into the medium through which it originated.
Refraction: The process in which the direction of energy
propagation is changed due to spatial variations in properties (e.g.
density) of the medium.
Relative humidity: The ratio of the observed vapor pressure
of the air to the saturation vapor pressure, expressed as a percentage.
Relative humidity indicates how close the air is to saturation.
Remote Sensing: The technology of acquiring data and information
about an object without having physical contact with it.
SaffirSimpson scale: The system by which
hurricanes are classified on a scale from 1 (minimal hurricane)
to 5 (catastrophic hurricane), based on potential wind and seawater
Scattering: The process by which light rays change direction
of propagation through the interaction with particles, such as molecules
aerosols and cloud particles.
Sea level pressure: The atmospheric pressure any location
would have if it were at sea level.
Severe thunderstorm: Thunderstorms that produce one ore
more of the following: a tornado, large hail (diameters greater
then 1.9 cm, or 0.75 in) or wind gusts of at least 26 meters per
second (58 miles per hour)
Shortwave radiation: (solar radiation) Radiant energy with
wavelengths between approximately .2 and 4 microns.
Sidereal: Relative to the stars.
Smog: Originally a combination of smoke and fog, this term
is now used to describe mixtures of pollutants in the atmosphere.
Solar constant: The amount of solar radiation received at
the top of the Earths atmosphere on a surface perpendicular to
the incoming radiation at Earths mean distance from the Sun. Its
value is about 1370 watts per square meter.
Solar time: The time associated with the diurnal motion
of the sun across the celestial sphere.
Solar zenith angle: The angle at the earth's surface measured
between the Sun and an observers zenith.. (2)
Solstice: Occurs twice a year when the noon sun is overhead
at its farthest north (on or about June 21) or south (on or about
December 22) latitudes. On these days, the amount of daylight is
at maximum and minimum, respectively, in the Northern Hemisphere.
Sounder: A critical satellite instrument capable of producing
a vertical profile of the atmosphere.
Sounding: The vertical distribution of temperature, moisture,
wind speed (and direction) over a location.
Southern Oscillation: A seesaw in atmospheric pressure between
the western and eastern Pacific that is commonly associated with
El Niρo and La Nina.
Specific heat: The amount of energy needed to raise the
temperature of one gram of a substance one degree Celsius.
Spectral bands (regions): Segments of the Electromagnetic
Spectrum (EMS) bound by a set of wavelengths.
Station model: An efficient method of representing weather
conditions at a single location graphically on a weather map.
Stefan-Boltzmann Law: A fundamental radiation law a that
states that the total energy emitted by a blackbody is proportional
to the fourth power of its temperature.
Storm surge: A surge of seawater pushed onshore primarily
by winds of a storm.
Stratocumulus (Sc): Low clouds that appear in rows or patches
and are white or gray in color.
Stratopause: The top of the stratosphere, delineating the
stratosphere from the mesosphere.
Stratosphere: The region of the atmosphere above the troposphere
and below the mesosphere. It is characterized by a temperature inversion
where temperature increases with height.
Stratus (Sc): A cloud layer with a uniform base and a gray
Sublimation: The process of ice changing phase into vapor.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2): An acidic gas found in the atmosphere,
released through the burning of fossil fuels that contain sulfur
and some volcanoes.
Sulfur trioxide (SO3): Released into the atmosphere primarily
through the burning of fossil fuels that contain sulfur.
Sun glint: An example of reflection of sunlight by gently
Sun pillar: A shaft of light extending vertically from the
rising or setting sun.
Sundogs: Also called parhelion. Bright colored regions that
flank the sun due to refraction of light through ice crystals.
Supercooled water: Liquid water that is below 0? C.
Surface temperature: The air temperature measured in the
shade at 1.5 m (or 5 ft) above the ground.
Synoptic: Pertaining to an overall view.
Temperature: In an ideal gas, the average
kinetic energy of its molecules.
Terrestial radiation. See Longwave radiation
Thermosphere: The upper layer of the atmosphere extending
from the mesopause into outer space.
Tornado: A violently rotating column of air that extends
downward from the bottom of a thunderstorm to the ground.
Tornado alley: A region of maximum tornado occurrence, often
defined to be in the Great Plains from Texas to Kansas.
Trace gases: Gases found in the atmosphere in very small
Transpiration: The process by which plants release water
vapor into the air.
Tropical cyclone: Storms driven by atmosphereocean interactions
and originating in the over tropical oceans.
Tropopause: The boundary between the troposphere and the
Troposphere: The lowest of the four main layers of the atmosphere.
Most weather occurs in the troposphere, the 10-20 km of the atmosphere
envelope closest to the Earth.
Typhoon: Tropical cyclones found in the western Pacific.
Ultraviolet Radiation: Electromagnetic
radiation with wavelengths between approximately .2 to .4 microns.
Updraft: A current of air that has a marked upward vertical
motion. Updrafts keep cloud particles suspended in the air.
UTC (Universal Time Coordinated): The time standard used
around the world by meteorologists, referenced to the time at Greenwich,
Vapor pressure: The pressure exerted by
water molecules in a given volume of the atmosphere. It is a measure
of the contribution of water vapor to the total pressure.
Velocity: The change of direction and position of an object
Visibility: The maximum horizontal distance at which objects
can be identified.
Visible radiation: Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths
between approximately .4 to .7 microns. Human vision occurs at these
Wall cloud: A lowered region of rotating
cloud underneath the rear of a severe thunderstorm from which a
tornado may form. A wall cloud marks a very strong updraft.
Warm front: A front in which cool air is replaced by warmer
Warnings: Issued when a hazardous weather is occurring or
about to occur.
Watches: Issued when the risk of hazardous weather is significant.
Waterspout: A type of whirlwind that forms underneath cumulus
clouds over a large body of water.
Watt: A unit of power or energy per unit time.
Wavelength: The distance between one crest of a wave and
Weather: The current state of the atmosphere at a particular
Wiens Law: A radiation law that describes why hotter objects
give off most of their radiant energy at shorter wavelengths than
do cooler objects.
Wind shear: The change of wind speed and/or direction in
the atmosphere along a given direction.
Windsocks: Used to estimate wind speed and direction at
Work: The distance traveled by an object multiplied by the
force applied to it in that direction.
Zenith: The point directly above an observer.
ABBA Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm
ABI Advanced Baseline Imager
ABS Advanced Baseline Sounder
AC alternating current
ACRIM Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (EOS)
ADEOS ADvanced Earth Observing Satellite (Japan)
AERI Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer
AIRS Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (EOS)
AMRIR Advanced Medium Resolution Infrared Radiometer
AMS American Meteorological Society
AMSU Advanced Microwave Sounder Unit (EOS)
AO&SS Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (building)
AOS (Department of) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
AOT Aerosol Optical Thickness
APP AVHRR Polar Pathfinder
ASPT Advanced Satellite Products Team (NOAA/ORA)
ASTER Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection
ATOVS Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder
AU Astronomical Unit
AURA Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
AVIRIS Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (JPL)
BIBEX Biomass Burning Experiment
bit binary digit
CAC Climate Analysis Center
CCR Center for Climatic Research (IES)
CD-ROM Compact Disc-Read Only Memory
CERES Clouds and the Earths Radiant Energy System (EOS)
CIMSS Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite
COMET Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology Education
and Training (NOAA and UCAR)
COMSAT COMmunications SATellite
CONUS CONtinental (or CONterminus) United States
CPC Climate Prediction Center (NWS Center)
CRAS CIMSS Regional Assimilation System
CrIS Cross-track Infrared Sounder
CSBT Clear-Sky Brightness Temperature
DCS Data Collection System (NOAA polar
DoIT Department of Information Technology (UW-MSN)
DORIS Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated
by Satellite (EOS)
DXS Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer
EarthKAM Earth Knowledge Acquired by
ECMWF European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts
EDC EROS Data Center
ENSO El Niρo/Southern Oscillation
EOS Earth Observing System
EOSDIS Earth Observing System Data and Information System
EPA Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.)
EPS European Polar Satellite
ER-2 Earth Resources (plane), #2 (NASA)
ERBE Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
ERBS Earth Radiation Budget Satellite
EROS Earth Resources Observing System
ERS ESA Remote Sensing satellite
ERSC Environmental Remote Sensing Center (IES)
ESE Earth Science Enterprise (NASA)
ESMR Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer
ESOC European Satellite Operations Center
ESSA Environmental Science Services Administration (preceded
ESSP Earth System Science Pathfinder Mission (ESSP)
EUMETSAT EUropean organization for the exploitation of
FLAMBE Fire Locating and Monitoring of
FSL Forecast Systems Laboratory (a NOAA ERL)
FTS Fourier Transform Spectrometer (HIS, AERI, etc.)
GAC Global Area Coverage
GARS GOES Archive and Retrieval System
GASP GOES Aerosol Smoke Product
GEOSAT GEOdetic SATellite
GEWEX Global Energy and Water cycle EXperiment (WCRP)
GIFTS Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer
GLOBE Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment
GMS Geostationary Meteorological Satellite
GMT Greenwich Mean Time (repl. by UTC)
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
GPS Global Positioning System
H2O water (vapor)
HIMSS HIgh-resolution Microwave Spectrometer Sounder
HIRDLS HIgh-Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (EOS)
HIRES HIgh RESolution
HIRIS HIgh-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (EOS)
HIRS High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder
HIS High-resolution Interferometer Sounder
HRIR High Resolution Infrared Radiometer
HSB Humidity Sounder for Brazil
HSRL High Spectral Resolution Lidar
HST Hubble Space Telescope
IES Institute for Environmental Studies
IMAPP International MODIS/AIRS Processing Package
IMG Interferometric Monitor for Greenhouse gases
IRIS Infrared Radiation Interferometer Spectrometer (1960s)
ITOS Improved Television and infrared Observation Satellite
ITS Interferometer Thermal Sounder (HIS)
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
JSC Johnson Space Center (NASA, Houston)
K Kilo, thousand
Kb/s kilobits per second
KSC Kennedy Space Center
Lake-ICE Lake-Induced Convection Experiment
Laser Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
LAWS Laser Atmospheric Wind Sounder (EOS)
LED Light Emitting Diode
LIDAR LIght Detection And Ranging
MAMS Multispectral Atmospheric Mapping Sensor
MAS MODIS Airborne Simulator
Mb or MB Megabytes (or megabits)
Mb/s Megabytes per second
McIDAS Man computer Interactive Data Access System
Meteosat METEOrological SATellite (European)
MISR Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (EOS)
MLS Microwave Limb Sounder (EOS)
MODIS MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (EOS)
MODIS-N MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer-Nadir
MOPITT Measurements of Pollution In The Troposphere (EOS)
MSG Meteosat Second Generation
MSL Mean Sea Level
MSLP MSL Pressure
MSS Multi-Spectral Scanner
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASDA National Space Development Agency (Japan)
NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research
NCDC National Climatic Data Center
NCEP National Centers for Environmental Prediction (form.
NMC; NWS Center)
NESDIS National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information
NEXRAD NEXt generation RADar
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAASIS NOAA Satellite Information System
NPOESS National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental
NWS National Weather Service (NOAA)
OAO Orbiting Astronomical Observatory
OSO Orbiting Solar Observatory
OSS Office of Space Science (NASA)
OSSE Office of Space Science Education (SSEC)
PIFTS Planetary Imaging Fourier Transform
POES Polar Operational Environmental Satellite
ppm part per million
RAOB RAdiosonde OBservation
SAB Satellite Applications Branch (old.
SAFIRE Spectroscopy of the Atmosphere using Far InfraRed
SAGE Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (EOS)
SBUV Solar Backscatter UltraViolet radiometer (EOS)
SDS Satellite Data Services
SHARP Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program
S-HIS Scanning High resolution Interferometer Sounder
SSEC Space Science and Engineering Center
SSU Stratospheric Sounding Unit (TOVS)
STEP Satellite Technology Education Program (WSGC)
SWAMP Science Working Group for the AM Platform (EOS)
TES Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer
TIROS Television InfraRed Observation Satellite (POES)
TMR TOPEX Microwave Radiometer (EOS)
TOS TIROS Operational Satellite
TOVS TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder
UFO Unidentified Flying Object
UHF Ultra High Frequency
VAS VISSR Atmospheric Sounder (launch, 9-9-80)
Vis5D Visualization of Five-Dimensional data
VisAD Visualization for Algorithm Development
VISIT Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training
VLF Very Low Frequency
WINCE WINter Cloud Experiment
WSGC Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
WUPPE Wisconsin Ultraviolet PhotoPolarimeter Experiment
XBSS X-ray Background Survey Spectrometer
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