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Published on Mar 8, 2012
From June 2002 to early October 2011, the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) on the Aqua satellite provided a wealth of data about the Earth's water cycle. Among the many variables calculated from AMSR-E data are sea surface temperature, atmospheric water vapor, rainfall, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverages, and snow cover. The AMSR-E data allow the calculation of surface variables under nearly all weather conditions, irrespective of cloud cover and irrespective of whether it is daytime or nighttime. AMSR-E was provided to NASA's Aqua program by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which also has a follow-on AMSR-2 instrument scheduled to be launched in 2012.