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When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was first launched into low Earth orbit 24 years ago, it held the promise of daily and weekly vegetation monitoring data for a host of potential scientific applications.

Color photo of vegetation health maps from VegDRI project
Comparison of Vegetation Drought Response Index (VegDRI) results from EROS expedited Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (eMODIS) (a) and transformed EROS expedited Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (eVIIRS') (b) for week 32, 2020 (August 3, 2020 to August 9, 2020). (c) relationship between eMODIS and eVIIRS’ VegDRI values, associated statistics are presented in Table 2, week 32 column. (d) VegDRI classification differences pixel by pixel.

MODIS data, available through NASA’s USGS EROS-based Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), have since proven their worth many times over.

EROS MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (eMODIS NDVI) and eMODIS Global Land Surface Temperature (LST) data products, meanwhile, have allowed users to more easily apply MODIS data to operational science applications such as VegDRI and QuickDRI.

For years, the eMODIS NDVI and eMODIS Global LST products built at EROS have been a vital vegetation monitoring resource for a wide range of government, academic and commercial research teams.

However, the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites that carry MODIS sensors have nearly reached the end of their lifespan. This will soon bring an end to the era of MODIS data.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) and NOAA-20 satellites will serve as the successor to MODIS. VIIRS enables a new generation of operational moderate resolution-imaging capabilities, following in the footsteps of the Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on NOAA satellites, and MODIS on Terra and Aqua.

EROS began building EROS VIIRS, or eVIIRS, composites in 2021. The move came in anticipation of the end of the mission life for MODIS. Many users have already switched to eVIIRS composites.

EROS Center teams are now asking users to begin to switch your projects from eMODIS products to the comparable eVIIRS products as soon as possible.

EROS welcomes feedback from the user community on eVIIRS and encourages feedback to USGS EROS User Services.

The eVIIRS NDVI and Global LST composites are available on EarthExplorer (EE). VegDRI and QuickDRI production has transitioned to VIIRS sensor products, and users have been pleased with the results. Web viewers for Vegetation Dynamics Drought Viewer that host these and other products for monitoring drought in the contiguous United States are available in EE alongside eVIIRS NDVI and Global LST..

Please evaluate the eVIIRS products for future use.  Barring any satellite data collection or processing issues, eMODIS products will be produced through the summer of 2022. Production of eMODIS products will cease by Oct. 1, 2022.

Read more about eMODIS, eVIIRS, and the various applications that built using the data products at this link.

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