Satellites to address ocean and land hydrology



Three new exploratory Earth remote sensing satellites are being developed for launch later in the decade to measure ocean salinity and terrestrial soil moisture and thus advance the scientific understanding of the global water cycle and its interactions with ocean circulation, climate, weather, and hydrology. The Aquarius/Satellite Aplicaciones Cientificas SAC-D). Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS), and Hydrosphere State (HYDROS) missions come at an important time for climate research. There is an imperative to develop comprehensive plans to integrate global satellite measurements effectively with surface-based climate observations, such as the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), and other programs, to yield the highest-quality, calibrated, synoptic data fields.

Recognizing the mutual benefits to optimizing the scientific gain from these programs and to reduce technical risks, the science teams from the Aquarius/SAC-D, SMOS, and HYDROS missions held a joint workshop in Miami, Florida, last spring to discuss their common science objectives and technical issues. This was designed to foster continuing mutual exchange and planning among the missions and with the ground-based climate observing systems. The meeting was hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory More than 130 scientists, engineers, and program managers representing 11 different countries attended the meeting.