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A sensor to measure salinity in the open ocean from space

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The salinity of the open ocean is important for understanding ocean dynamics and for modelling energy exchange with the atmosphere. But existing data are sparse and much of the ocean is unsampled. Sea surface salinity can be measured remotely with passive microwave sensors operating near 1.4 GHz (L-band). Salinity differences have been observed from space and aircraft instruments have demonstrated that salinity can be measured with an accuracy of better than 1 psu. Sensor technology has improved sufficiently to seriously propose a satellite system to map salinity over the open oceans.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt MD, 20771 USA 2: ESR 1910 Fairview Ave E, Suite 210, Seattle, Washington, 98102-3620 USA 3: NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory 4800 Oak Grove Drive, M/S 306-463, Pasadena CA 91109-8099 USA

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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