The last Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) was successfully launched and put into operations in 2018. AVHRRs have been observing the Earth continuously for over forty years and their data provide an invaluable record for oceanographic, terrestrial, meteorological and climate studies.
The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRR), which have been flying on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) polar orbiting weather satellites since 1978, provide the longest global record of Earth observations from a visible/infrared imager. Experience gained through AVHRRs has been integral to the development of the new generation sensors such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and associated data processing algorithms in the United States, as well as similar class of sensor by space agencies around the world. Over four decades of data have been vital for studying Earth and its change. The Metop-C satellite that was successfully launched in 2018 carries the last AVHRR. This article reviews the contributions of AVHRR in building a continuous global data record over the last 40 years on the occasion of its last launch.