GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Visible and Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite (GDS2)
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Short NameVIIRS_NPP-JPL-L2P-v2016.2
DescriptionThese files contain NASA produced skin sea surface temperature (SST) products from the Infrared (IR) channels of the Visible and Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi-NPP satellite. VIIRS is a multi-disciplinary instrument that is also being flown on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) series of spacecraft, of which NOAA-20 is the first. JPSS is a multi-agency program that consolidates the polar orbiting spacecraft of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Suomi-NPP is the initial spacecraft in this series, and VIIRS is the successor to MODIS for Earth science data. VIIRS has 22 spectral bands ranging from 412 nm to 12 micron . There are 16 moderate-resolution bands (750m at nadir), 5 image-resolution bands (375 m), and one day-night band (DNB). VIIRS uses on-board pixel aggregation to reduce the growth in size of pixels away from nadir. Two SST products are contained in these files. The first is a skin SST produced separately for day and night observations, derived from the long wave IR 11 and 12 micron wavelength channels, using a modified nonlinear SST algorithm intended to provide continuity of SST products from heritage and current NASA sensors. At night, a second triple channel SST product is generated using the 3.7 , 11 and 12 micron IR channels, identified as SST_triple. Due to the sun glint in the 3.7 micron SST_triple can only be used at night. VIIRS L2P SST data have a 750 spatial resolution at nadir and are stored in ~288 five minute granules per day. Full global coverage is obtained each day. The production of VIIRS NASA L2P SST files is part of the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) project and is a joint collaboration between the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG), and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). Researchers at RSMAS were responsible for sea surface temperature algorithm development, error statistics and quality flagging, while the OBPG, as the NASA ground data system, is responsible for the production of VIIRS ocean products. JPL acquires VIIRS ocean granules from the OBPG and reformats them to the GHRSST L2P netCDF specification with complete metadata and is the official Physical Oceanography Data Archive (PO.DAAC) for SST. In mid-August, 2018, the RSMAS involvement in the VIIRS SST project ceased, and the subsequent fields are not maintained. The R2016.2 supersedes the previous v2016.0 datasets which can be found at
Dataset TypeOPEN
Processing Level2P
CoverageRegion: Global
Northernmost Latitude: 90 degrees
Southernmost Latitude: -90 degrees
Westernmost Longitude: -180 degrees
Easternmost Longitude: 180 degrees
Time Span: 2011-Nov-21 to Present
Granule Time Span: 2012-Jan-05 to 2020-Aug-10
ResolutionSpatial Resolution: 0.75 km (Along) x 0.75 km (Across)
ProjectionType: Satellite native swath
Detail: Geolocation information included for each pixel
Ellipsoid: WGS 84
Latency6 hours
Swath Width3040000 m
Sample Frequency1.786
Temporal Repeat (Nominal)12 Hour
Temporal Repeat (Min)2 Hour
Temporal Repeat (Max)26 Hour
Name: Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SUOMI-NPP)
Orbit Period: 101 minutes
Inclination Angle: 97.1 degrees
Ascending Node: 2012-Jan-06 13:30:00
Name: Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)
Swath Width: 3040 km
Description: VIIRS is a 22-band radiometer to collect infrared and visible light for earth system monitoring

ProjectGroup for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST)
Data ProviderCreator: JPL/OBPG/RSMAS
Release Place: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CA, USA
Release Date: 2020-Feb-28
Resource: Information on the the VIIRS SST algorithm can be found in the following documents:
Keyword(s)GHRSST, L2P, SST, VIIRS, JPL, OBPG, S-NPP, v2016.2
Questions related to this dataset? Contact
User's Guide
SST Reprocessing 2016.0
GDS2 User Manual
Documentation on the GDS version 2 format specification
Project Materials
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Level-2 File Format
Additional Sites
GHRSST Project Homepage
GHRSST Project Office homepage
GHRSST Mission Page
Portal to the GHRSST Global Data Assembly Center and data access
Citation JPL/OBPG/RSMAS. 2020. GHRSST Level 2P Global Sea Surface Skin Temperature from the Visible and Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite (GDS2). Ver. 2016.2. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at

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For more information see Data Citations and Acknowledgments.

Journal Reference Information on the the VIIRS SST algorithm can be found in the following documents: