Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gina Puffin Feeder

Here's a link to a website I just learned about yesterday: the GINA Puffin Feeder site. GINA is a group at UAF that is involved with capturing and distributing Alaska and high latitude imagery from a wide variety of sources.  I've used GINA's Swath Viewer for some years, but yesterday I saw a presentation on the GINA Puffin Feeder website that is distributing imagery from the new VIIRS polar orbiter satellite. It has a variety of interesting images, including true color, landform and a low light visible channel.

Here's the low light visible image taken at 4am Friday. This is unprocessed by me; this is as-is on the website. Look at that detail! The bright swirl on the upper left hand side of the image is aurora, and the lights of Prudhoe Bay, Anchorage and Fairbanks are all clearly visible.


  1. Fun info Rick. I've shared this with some ham radio friends who are also interested in signal propagation over the Pole. The Aurora can limit that process if active via increased signal absorption.

    Now to compare that link with these:


  2. One I e-mailed it to was Larry who runs the local NOAA/NESDIS CAD station (radio guy as well). His comments:

    "It's only a secret, because it hasn't yet been run through all the operational paces yet. Everyone is really excited about the DNB on the VIIRS sensor. Day-night band is sensitive from green to near infrared. Last summer I had a briefing from some scientists about how they can discern completely unexpected things like ground fog and marine layer clouds.

    P.S. GINA receives what we call the HRD (high rate data) link on X-band (7.5 GHz). HRD is real-time imagery broadcast to stations on the ground kind of like the AVHRR/HRPT from the polar-orbiting weather satellites (which come down on L-band, or 1.7 GHz). If you go to GINA's Swathviewer application ( you can see data from many other spacecraft. Requires Java."


    1. Note though it's not really a secret: I searched for "GINA Puffin Feeder" and it was the first hit.

      Also, while the DNB does do into the near infrared (to 0.9 microns), some preliminary work suggests that the infrared portion is not "polluting" the shorter wavelengths by e.g. making clear cold valleys appear overly bright.


  3. And it's a small world after all...the inventor of Swath Viewer (mentioned above) grew up across the street. He was always a very bright person and I'm happy to seen him succeed at the U.