During April 1995, a field and aircraft experiment was conducted in central Alaska in support of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow-mapping project. The MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), a 50 channel spectroradiometer, was flown on board the NASA ER-2 aircraft. An objective of the mission was to determine the accuracy of mapping snow in different surface covers using an algorithm designed to map global snow cover after the launch of MODIS in 1998. The surface cover in this area of central Alaska is typically spruce, birch, aspen, mixed forest and muskeg. Integrated reflectance, R
i was calculated from the visible/near-infrared channels of the MAS sensor. The R
i was used to estimate different vegetation-cover densities because there is an inverse relationship between vegetation-cover density and albedo in snow-covered terrain. A vegetation-cover density map was constructed using MAS data acquired on 13 April 1995 over central Alaska. In the part of the scene that was mapped as having a vegetation-cover density of < 50%, the snow-mapping algorithm mapped 96.41% snow cover. These areas are generally composed of muskeg and mixed forests and include frozen lake. In the part of the scene that was estimated to have a vegetation-cover density of ≥50%, the snow-mapping algorithm mapped 71.23% snow cover. These areas are generally composed of dense coniferous or deciduous forests. Overall, the accuracy of the snow-mapping algorithm is > 87.41% for a 13 April MAS scene with a variety of surface covers (coniferous and deciduous and mixed forests, muskeg, tundra and frozen lake).