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The ASTER Earth Imaging Instrument
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The ASTER Earth Imaging Instrument

March 31, 2003
Artist's rendition of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument onboard the Terra satellite. The ASTER instrument consists of three separate instrument subsystems. Each subsystem operates in a different spectral region, has its own telescope(s), and is built by a different Thermal Infrared (TIR). The Aster instrument is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry. It�s designed primarily to collect data based on the reflection and absorption of heat on the planet below. From its ability to generate stereoscopic images, Aster can create digital elevation maps. It is also the instrument on Terra with the highest spatial resolution; in other words, it�s capable of observing the smallest area in the greatest detail.