Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Research and Operations

Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Research and Operations

Ratings: (0)|Views: 298 |Likes:
Published by earthandlife
Satellite measurements of ocean color provide a unique global perspective on the health of the ocean by allowing scientists to track changes in the abundance and productivity of phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that live in the ocean's surface waters and form the base of the marine food chain. Monitoring phytoplankton abundance can provide information on the ocean's essential functions and resources, which can be used to assess long-term climate changes, evaluate support of fisheries production, and detect harmful algal blooms, among other uses. However, the nation is at risk of losing access to ocean color data because existing satellite sensors are aging, and planned new satellite missions might not be able to acquire data at the accuracy levels needed for climate research. This report reviews the minimum requirements to sustain global ocean color measurements for research and operational use and identifies options to minimize the risk of an ocean color data gap.
Satellite measurements of ocean color provide a unique global perspective on the health of the ocean by allowing scientists to track changes in the abundance and productivity of phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that live in the ocean's surface waters and form the base of the marine food chain. Monitoring phytoplankton abundance can provide information on the ocean's essential functions and resources, which can be used to assess long-term climate changes, evaluate support of fisheries production, and detect harmful algal blooms, among other uses. However, the nation is at risk of losing access to ocean color data because existing satellite sensors are aging, and planned new satellite missions might not be able to acquire data at the accuracy levels needed for climate research. This report reviews the minimum requirements to sustain global ocean color measurements for research and operational use and identifies options to minimize the risk of an ocean color data gap.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: earthandlife on Aug 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

12/21/2013

pdf

text

original

 
W
ith the launch of the rst ocean color satellite in 1978, scientists gained anew window on the ocean. Looking back at Earth from space allowed researchers tovisualize entire ocean basins at once, obtaininga global perspective of the vast ocean.Ocean color satellites measure how greenthe ocean is from the chlorophyll pigmentscontained in microscopic plants and bacteriacalled phytoplankton (see Box 1). These data provide insight into the health of ocean ecosys-tems and their responses to stresses such asincreased ocean temperature, ocean acidica-tion, marine pollution, and overshing. Becauseof the vast area covered by the ocean, it isimpossible to observe global scale changes in phytoplankton abundance and productivity of marine ecosystems using ships alone.When the National Aeronautics andSpace Administration (NASA) launched theSea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) in 1997, it became the gold standardfor measuring ocean color. With the retirementof SeaWiFS in December 2010, the nation is nowat risk of losing its window to the global ocean.The MODIS (Moderate Resolution ImagingSpectroradiometer) sensor on NASA’s Aquasatellite is currently the only U.S. sensor remaining in orbit that is capable of measuringocean color, but it is already several years
Satellite measurements of ocean color provide a unique global perspective on the health of marine ecosystems, their contributions to the global cycle of nutrients, oxygen, and carbon,and their responses to long-term climate change. However, the nation is at risk of losing accessto ocean color data because existing satellite sensors are aging and planned new satellitemissions might not be able to acquire data at the accuracy levels required for climate research.This report reviews the minimum requirements to sustain global ocean color measurementsfor research and operational use, and to identify options to minimize the risk of an ocean colordata gap.
Assessing Requirements for Sustained OceanColor Research and Operations
 Box 1. Why Measure Ocean Color?
Marine phytoplankton, microscopic algae that livein the ocean’s surface waters, carry out about half of all global primary production—the process by whichcarbon dioxide is taken up by plants and convertedto new organic matter by photosynthesis. Theseorganisms form the base of the marine food web,and their uptake of carbon dioxide has helped tomoderate the rate of human-induced climate change.Ocean color satellites monitor phytoplanktonabundance in the ocean’s surface waters bymeasuring the concentration of chlorophyll. Inaddition, related parameters derived from the oceancolor satellite signal can be used to monitor oil spills,harmful algal blooms, and the health of importantsheries’ habitat.
Map of chlorophyll concentrations in the upper Atlantic Ocean.Red and yellow areas indicate high, green intermediate, and blue lowchlorophyll concentrations.
SOURCE: SeaWiFS Project, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; and GeoEye.
 
 beyond its intended lifetime. Furthermore,researchers are concerned that a new sensor plannedfor launch in fall 2011 may not be able to makeocean color measurements at the level of accuracyrequired for climate research.Given the importance of maintaining therecord of ocean color data, the National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration, the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Ofce of  Naval Research requested the National ResearchCouncil convene a committee of experts to reviewthe minimum requirements to sustain global oceancolor measurements for research and operationalapplications, and to identify options to minimizethe risk of a data gap.
Setting the Standard for Ocean Data
Over the past decade, SeaWiFS and MODIShave generated high-quality, and well-calibratedocean color data needed to investigate links between long-term climactic trends and phyto- plankton abundance. Arriving at the currentlyavailable climate-quality data is a complex, chal-lenging, and collaborative effort between a highlydedicated team at NASA and the academic commu-nity (see Box 2). From this process the report hasdrawn lessons and identied key factors to maintainthe data stream at the current level of accuracy. Inorder to sustain the ow of high-quality ocean color data, the committee found that ocean color missionwould need to meet at least the followingrequirements:
The sensor is well characterized and calibrated prior to launch
Post-launch vicarious calibration is performedwith in situ instruments that meet stringentstandards in order to set the sensor’s gain factors
The sensor stability and rate of degradation aremonitored using monthly lunar views
Tt least six months of overlap is allowed for thetransfer of calibrations between the expiration of one sensor and the launch of a new sensor toensure continuous climate data records
There is ongoing development and validation of atmospheric correction, bio-optical models andocean color products
Data is periodically reprocessed during themission
All raw, meta- and processed data products arearchived, made freely available, and distributedrapidly and efciently
Research is continued to improve algorithmsand products
All aspects of the mission are documented, andmade accessible
Losing the Window on the Global Ocean
Designed to be in use for just ve years,SeaWiFS actually operated for 13 years before being taken out of commission in December 2010.Currently, MODIS is the only U.S. sensor in orbitthat is capable of collecting data accurate enoughto inform scientists who track climatic changes,resource managers who monitor and protect coastalwaters among others. New U.S. missions are planned to replace thedefunct SeaWiFS sensor and the aging MODISsensor. The next is the launch of the Visible InfraredImaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), scheduled for fall 2011. However, theresearch community has questioned the ability of VIIRS to deliver high-quality data due to a manu-facturing error in one of its optical components.Based on the committee’s assessment, the missionmeets only a few of the accuracy requirementslisted above. Because VIIRS represents the onlyopportunity for the United States to be able tosustain the current time series of high-qualityocean color measurements from U.S.-operatedsensors until the end of the decade, the committeesuggested immediate improvements that could helpimprove the accuracy of this, and future VIIRSmissions:
Implement spacecraft maneuvers as part of the mission, including monthly lunar views toquantify sensor stability
Form a calibration team with the responsibilityand authority to interact with the team generat-ing raw data, and with the mission personnelresponsible for the sensor, to provide the analy-
Vicarious calibration:
a technique that usesnatural sites on Earth’s surface for the calibrationof sensors.
Lunar views:
a spacecraft maneuver that involvespointing the sensor at the surface of the moon oncea month as a reference standard.
 
ses needed to assess trends in sensor perfor-mance and evaluate anomalies
Implement a vicarious calibration process andteam using an approach established by theMarine Optical Buoy (MOBY), a buoy thatoats on the ocean surface and measures lightat a xed surface over time to produce interna-tionally accepted standards for calibration
Implement a process to engage experts in theeld of ocean color research to revisit standardalgorithms and products, including those for atmospheric correction, to ensure consistencywith those of heritage instruments and for implementing improvements;
Form a data product team to work closely withthe calibration team to implement vicarious andlunar calibrations, oversee validation efforts, and provide oversight of reprocessing
Provide the capability to reprocess the missiondata multiple times to incorporate improve-ments in calibration, correct for sensor drift,generate new and improved products for other essential reasons.
The Need for Collaboration
Both NASA and NOAA support ocean color applications, with NASA focused primarily onresearch and development, and NOAA focused onoperational uses. Because both agencies supportclimate research, they share a common interest indeveloping climate data records.To implement the suggested improvements tothe VIIRS sensor, NOAA would need to buildcapacity, particularly in the areas of processing andcalibrating ocean color data. Because NASA isalready an internationally recognized leader in producing well-calibrated ocean color data prod-ucts, the committee found it would be morecost-effective for the two agencies to work in partnership. To move towards such a collaboration, both agencies would need to identify effective waysto satisfy their requirements for ocean color datafrom VIIRS, and consider how best to produce,archive, and distribute data of shared interest. No matter how well VIIRS performs, the datarequirements for ocean color applications are sodiverse that a single satellite sensor cannot meet allocean color needs. For example, advancing researchon the global carbon cycle will require greater spectral resolution than is currently available, butnot necessarily higher spatial resolution except for 
 Box 2. Making Sense of the Ocean Color Signal 
Deriving the desired information from oceancolor satellite measurements is a multi-stage process. Ocean color sensors measure theradiance at the top of the atmosphere, whichis the sum of three radiance sources: water-leaving radiance, radiance reected from thesea surface, and radiance scattered by theatmosphere. The most important of measurefor ocean color is water-leaving radiance, butthis is no more than 10 percent of the totalsignal. To isolate water-leaving radiance fromthe rest of the signal, scientists remove thecontributions of surface glint and atmospheric path radiance from the measured total, a process known as atmospheric correction.To correctly interpret water-leaving radiance,the instrument gain factor has to be set usinga vicarious calibration and the sensor degradation has to be factored into thecorrection scheme using the information from the monthly lunar views. Only then can the water-leaving radiance beconverted to phytoplankton abundance using empirical algorithms.
SOURCE: Adapted from http://www.gps.gov.multimedia/images.

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->