SMOS : the challenging sea surface salinity measurement from space

Abstract : Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity, European Space Agency, is the first satellite mission addressing the challenge of measuring sea surface salinity from space. It uses an L-band microwave interferometric radiometer with aperture synthesis (MIRAS) that generates brightness temperature images, from which both geophysical variables are computed. The retrieval of salinity requires very demanding performances of the instrument in terms of calibration and stability. This paper highlights the importance of ocean salinity for the Earth's water cycle and climate; provides a detailed description of the MIRAS instrument, its principles of operation, calibration, and imagereconstruction techniques; and presents the algorithmic approach implemented for the retrieval of salinity from MIRAS observations, as well as the expected accuracy of the obtained results.
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Jordi Font, Adriano Camps, A. Borges, Manuel Martin-Neira, Jacqueline Boutin, et al.. SMOS : the challenging sea surface salinity measurement from space. Proceedings of the IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2010, 98, pp.5. ⟨10.1109/JPROC.2009.2033096⟩. ⟨ird-00685317⟩

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