MERIS was taken on board the satellite Envisat. It is a wide field optical imaging spectrometer that covers the whole of the globe in less than 3 days using 15 spectral bands with programmable position and width in the visible and near infrared, forming 650 x 650 km images with a resolution of 300 m, or 1150 km x 1150 km with a resolution of 1.2 km.
MERIS is used to observe the colour of the oceans and provides the biophysical properties and chemical composition of coastal waters: the assessment of concentrations of phytoplankton, the detection of marine pollution, coastal water management, fishing management.
MERIS can also measure some continental surface parameters related to plant cover (vegetation mapping, forest management).
Italy seen by the ENVISAT MERIS instrument