The Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument on the NOAA-20 satellite acquired its first data on January 5, 2018. OMPS measures the health of Earth’s ozone layer, and continues a crucial global data stream produced by current ozone monitoring systems. Measurements of ozone throughout Earth’s atmosphere are key to issuing air quality warnings and creating the National Weather Service’s UV indexes.
OMPS shows us ultraviolet light that is reflected back into space from the atmosphere called “backscattering”. This first-light image shows the radiance values for the cloud reflectivity channel on the OMPS Nadir Mapper. The highest radiances are associated with bright cloud tops. The cloud reflectivity channel is one of the five primary channels used to estimate total ozone concentration. The striping pattern is created from the slight differences in the angle of the satellite relative to the incoming energy from the sun.