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Assessment of Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity
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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101585

Status of Aquarius and Salinity Continuity

1
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
2
Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866, USA
3
Remote Sensing Systems, 444 Tenth Street, Suite 200, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, USA
4
Earth and Space Research, 2101 Fourth Ave, Suite 1310, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
5
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Surface Salinity Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Aquarius is an L-band radar/radiometer instrument combination that has been designed to measure ocean salinity. It was launched on 10 June 2011 as part of the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory. The observatory is a partnership between the United States National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), which provided Aquarius, and the Argentinian space agency, Comisiόn Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE), which provided the spacecraft bus, Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC-D). The observatory was lost four years later on 7 June 2015 when a failure in the power distribution network resulted in the loss of control of the spacecraft. The Aquarius Mission formally ended on 31 December 2017. The last major milestone was the release of the final version of the salinity retrieval (Version 5). Version 5 meets the mission requirements for accuracy, and reflects the continuing progress and understanding developed by the science team over the lifetime of the mission. Further progress is possible, and several issues remained unresolved at the end of the mission that are relevant to future salinity retrievals. The understanding developed with Aquarius is being transferred to radiometer observations over the ocean from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, and salinity from SMAP with accuracy approaching that of Aquarius are already being produced. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean salinity; microwave remote sensing; remote sensing ocean salinity; microwave remote sensing; remote sensing
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Le Vine, D.M.; Dinnat, E.P.; Meissner, T.; Wentz, F.J.; Kao, H.-Y.; Lagerloef, G.; Lee, T. Status of Aquarius and Salinity Continuity. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1585.

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