Airborne Salinity Mapper Makes Debut in Coastal Zone



New technology has been developed through a joint public-private partnership that could greatly improve the ocean sciences community's ability to study coastal oceanography in the same way that satellitebased infrared imaging revolutionized basinscale oceanography. Recent advances in passive microwave technologies and novel means of integrating those advances haveled to the development of the Scanning Low-Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SLFMR) for remote sensing of sea-surface salinity.

Designed and built for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the SLFMR—also known as the salinity mapper—was recently used by a team of scientists from government and industry to generate the first remotely sensed image of sea-surface salinity (Figure 1). This image of salinity was obtained near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, during the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Chesapeake Outflow Plume Experiment (COPE), elements of which were conducted in collaboration with NOAA.