AMSU-A, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit, is a 15-channel passive
microwave radiometer used to profile atmospheric temperature and
moisture from the earth's surface to ~45 km (3 millibars). All orbits
beginning in the day (00:00:00 - 23:59:59 UTC) are stored in one daily
HDF-EOS file. (THIS IS WRONG) There are 15 (channel) arrays, as well as
corresponding ... Latitude, Longitude, and Time. Each daily file is
compressed (gzip). The Swath Data Products are packaged in HDF-EOS
format, with one file per orbit. These daily files are tarred together
using the UNIX tar command into a daily file that is then compressed
using the UNIX 'gzip' command.
"NOAA-17 AMSU-A1 suffered an instrument failure on October 28,
2003. As a result, AMSU-A channel-3 to channel-15 antenna
temperatures are no longer available (AMSU-A channel-1 and
channel-2 are working properly). We have made changes to the
NOAA-17 AMSU product algorithms which allow us to keep generating
four AMSU products: TPW, CLW, RR, and IWP".