Using satellites to observe the temperature of seawater near the surface of the ocean is probably the most mature application of ocean remote sensing. Observations are made with IR, which cannot "see" through clouds and with passive microwave which is not affected by clouds but has other trade-offs. SST sensors are aboard both polar-orbiting satellites and geostationary satellites.

The following list shows the various Sea Surface Temperature near real time and science quality data products available from NOAA CoastWatch.

• Near Real Time - AVHRR

• Near Real Time - GeoPolar Blended

• Near Real Time - Geostationary

• Near Real Time - VIIRS SNPP

• Science Quality - ACSPO AVHRR RAN1 Level 2P

• Science Quality - ACSPO VIIRS RAN1 Level 2P, 3U