28 October 2014 Accomplishments of Aquarius: NASA's first global Sea Surface Salinity Mission: a review of the technical findings to date
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Abstract
Launched 10 June 2011, the NASA’s Aquarius instrument onboard the Argentine built and managed Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC-D) has been tirelessly observing the open oceans, confirming and adding new knowledge to the not so vast measured records of our Earth’s global oceans. This paper reviews the data collected over the last 3 years, it’s findings, challenges and future work that is at hand for the sleepless oceanographers, hydrologists and climate scientists. Although routine data is being collected, a snapshot is presented from almost 3-years of flawless operations showing new discoveries and possibilities of lot more in the future. Repetitive calibration and validation of measurements from Aquarius continue together with comparison of the data to the existing array of Argo temperature/salinity profiling floats, measurements from the recent Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) in-situ experiment and research, and to the data collected from the European Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. This all aids in the optimization of computer model functions to improve the basic understanding of the water cycle over the oceans and its ties to climate. The Aquarius mission operations team also has been tweaking and optimizing algorithms, reprocessing data as needed, and producing salinity movies that has never been seen before. A brief overview of the accomplishments, technical findings to date will be covered in this paper.
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Amit Sen, "Accomplishments of Aquarius: NASA's first global Sea Surface Salinity Mission: a review of the technical findings to date", Proc. SPIE 9241, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVIII, 924106 (28 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2067549; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2067549
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