Mission Status & Events

Update From Aquarius PI Gary Lagerloef: Meetings, Algorithms, Data Products, and Presentations
[27-Feb-12] The next Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting will be 11-13 April 2012 in Buenos Aires, and the date is fast approaching. This will be the first post-launch reunion of the joint US-Argentine Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team and will focus on instrument performance assessments and early science results The call for abstracts will be posted on the meeting website, and is shown below. Abstract deadline is 20-Mar-12.

During the months of January and February, the algorithm team has been designing and testing a new correction to radiometer calibration drift using internal sensor data called "deflection ratios" (DR). The good news is that this does an excellent job of correcting the long-term monotonic drift. However, residual shorter-term transient variations are not fully corrected and leave small (~0.2 psu) quasi-monthly variations in the data. Of course we are working on this now, so we expect to have additional corrections to come along as soon as we can.

Along with the new DR drift correction, several changes are in the works for Level 2 (L2) science data products, including an improved roughness model, and additional variables for the roughness and land corrections. These changes will be incorporated into the next operational version of the processing code, V1.3, which may be ready for evaluation release in March. As we further process the data, we will continue to investigate the bias between the data collected on the ascending passes (south to north) and the descending passes (north to south). The differences have regional patterns and the global mean ascending-descending bias is about -0.2 psu. The source is not yet understood. Click here to link to Aquarius data.

The Aquarius sensor and the SAC-D observatory continue to perform well. We are about to reach the milestone of six months of un-interrupted Aquarius data since the instrument commissioning sequence was finished on 25-Aug-11. Attached below is the 5.5-month average composite global image through 08-Feb-12.

Science papers were presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2012, Salt Lake City, including a focused session on Monday February 20th. An Aquarius special session is scheduled at the IEEE MicroRad meeting 5-9 March in Rome, Italy. Papers are submitted also for the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna (23-27 April) and the 44th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics in Belgium (7-11 May). Special sessions for salinity remote sensing are also planned for the IEEE International Geoscience And Remote Sensing Symposium in Munich (22-27 July).

I submitted a Brief Report on Aquarius' progress to EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union to be published shortly. Several of us prepared a sidebar article on Aquarius to appear in the ocean salinity section of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society special issue later this year on State of the Climate 2011. Lastly, the proposal for a Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans special section on salinity remote sensing science results has been approved, with submission deadline at the end of 2012.

Please stay tuned for more information and I look forward to seeing you at these conferences.