Contributing to the validation of SMOS ocean surface salinity

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology

Abstract

In 2008, the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch the first-ever satellite to measure ocean salinity from space: the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. SMOS aims to deliver global maps of the hitherto poorly known sea surface salinity (SSS), especially its temporal and large scale spatial variability. Such measurements are critical for ocean circulation and climate research and to improve operational forecasts. This project seeks to contribute to the assessment of the quality of the SMOS products in the period preceeding and immediatly following the launch of the SMOS satellite in 2008. This work is the key element of the UK involvement in the international effort of SMOS salinity data validation coordinated by ESA. Financial support for satellite validation activities is not available from ESA and is expected to originate from national agencies. However, it has so far not been possible to secure funding for this Cal/Val work, which is notoriously difficult to get funded in the UK.

Publications

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