The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXIX-B8
30 Jul 2012
 | 30 Jul 2012


S. Torrusio, G. Lagerloef, M. Rabolli, and D. LeVine

Keywords: SAC-D Aquarius, ocean salinity, microwave radiometers, optical sensors, international mission, observatory

Abstract. The SAC-D/Aquarius satellite was launched in June 10, 2011. It's a joint mission between Argentina (through CONAE) and US (NASA). This satellite is a true Observatory with a suite of sensors for Earth Observation, its weight is 1400 kg, sun-synchronous orbit at 657 km (6 pm ascendant node), revisit of seven days. Other space agencies have contributed with instruments and support (facilities and ground segment), as CNES, CSI, ASI and AEB/INPE. The primary objective is to monitor global variations in ocean surface salinity (SSS) in order to improve the knowledge about ocean circulation, water cycle and climate. The SSS is performed with Aquarius instrument (NASA). Other oceanic and atmospheric parameters are measured with a MWR, from CONAE, in K and Ka band, as wind speed, rain rate, sea ice, water vapour and liquid water in clouds. The thermal camera (NIRST) estimates sea surface temperature and detect high temperature events (fires and volcanic eruptions). The High Sensitivity Camera (HSC) generates night images (very useful for fishery activity monitoring in the sea, studying of electrical storms, polar auroras and urban application). The DCS (Data Collection System, from CONAE) can receive meteorological and environmental data from ground platforms and distribute among users. The TDP (Technological Demonstration Package, from CONAE) measures different parameters of satellite position and velocity. Other two important instruments are ROSA (from Italy) and CARMEN 1 (from France). The first is an atmospheric sounder, it allows elaborating atmospheric profiles of temperature, pressure and humidity, and the second has detectors for studies of space debris and the effects of radiation on electronic devices.

This work provides a review of the first year of data, including the status of calibration and validation, other finding and at the same time we want to present the progress in the active educational and outreach program including the information of SAC-D Aquarius Mission.