TOMS is an atmospheric sensor focusing on ozone retrieval. It has been operating on different NASA missions since November 1978.

The objective is to continue global ozone monitoring that began in 1978 with the launch of TOMS on NIMBUS-7. Together with TOMS on METEOR-3 a complete and consistent data set of daily total column ozone is provided till December 1994. After an 18 month data gap ADEOS TOMS was launched in July 1996 delivering data until June 1997. Earth Probe TOMS was launched in July 1996 as well, but continues to provide near-real-time data and observation of the Antarctic ozone hole as well as sulfur dioxide resulting from volcanic eruptions.

TOMS is a nadir looking instument that measures the albedo of the Earths atmosphere at six narrow spectral bands in the near-ultraviolet region. The albedo is measured by comparing the radiance of the Earth with the radiance of a calibrated diffuser plate. Total ozone is derived from the differential albedo in three pairs of spectral bands, which are selected to allow for an accurate retrieval at all latitudes and solar illumination conditions.

Available Data

Links to further information

  • TOMS general and additional information can be found at the NASA's TOMS homepage at GSFC.
  • See the NASA Facts page on TOMS History
  • General information about TOMS you can get at BADC (British Atmospheric Data Centre).
  • The TOMS Volcanic SO2 and Ash Homepage you can find at NASA's GSFC.
  • For TOMS aerosol products please click here.
  • Latest information on the instrument can be found on the news page.


For more information please contact