The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is a space-borne sensor embarked on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) family of polar orbiting platforms (POES). AVHRR instruments measure the reflectance of the Earth in 5 relatively wide (by today's standards) spectral bands. The first two are centered around the red (0.6 micrometres, 500 THz) and near-infrared (0.9 micrometres, 300 THz) regions, the third one is located around 3.5 micrometres, and the last two sample the thermal radiation emitted by the planet, around 11 and 12 micrometres, respectively. The NOAA satellite has equator crossing times of 0730 and 1930 local solar time.
The first AVHRR instrument was a 4-channel radiometer, while the latest version (known as AVHRR/3, first carried on the NOAA-15 platform launched in May 1998) acquires data in a 6th channel located at 1.6 micrometres.