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2015 Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting

November 17-19, 2015
Buenos Aires, Argentina

In November 2015, the 10th Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The goal of the meeting was to share and review science accomplishments and consider science objectives for sustained observations in the future with the Aquarius record as a foundation. The first two days of the meeting focused on the many ongoing and concluding Aquarius and SAC-D science projects, including the results of data and product applications from general users, algorithms progress, and education and public outreach activities. The final day of the meeting focused on a survey of the development of ocean research by NASA and CONAE in the South Atlantic, including prospects for further international collaboration.

Documents (54)
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A First Evaluation of Aquarius Sea Surface Density
Schanze, J.J. and Lagerloef, G. (18-Nov-15). With the recent advent of remotely sensed sea-surface salinity (SSS) data, it has become possible to compute sea surface density by combining SSS with remotely sensed sea surface temperature (SST) data. The International Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater 2010 (TEOS-2010) is used with Aquarius SSS and the Aquarius ancillary SST product to compute sea surface density (SSD).

A Lasting Legacy: Aquarius/SAC-D's Education and Public Outreach Efforts
deCharon, A. and Rabolli, M. (17-Nov-15). Throughout the life of Aquarius/SAC-D, NASA and CONAE have worked closely together to share the excitement, findings, and societal importance of the mission. Their individual and collective efforts have reached thousands of people, including teachers who have been trained to include topics related to the mission's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in their classrooms.

An Algorithm for Sea Surface Wind Speed from SAC-D/Aquarius Microwave Radiometer (MWR)
Tauro, C.B., Hejazin, Y., Jacob, M.M., and Jones, L. (17-Nov-15). The CONAE MWR team in collaboration with CFRSL has developed an improved algorithm for retrieving ocean wind speeds using the newest MWR V7.0 brightness temperature data.

Analyses of Seasonal to Interannual Variations and Trends in The Aquarius Data Record
Lagerloef, G. and Kao, H. (18-Nov-15). This study is a preliminary examination of multi-year sea surface salinity (SSS) trends from analyses of SMOS and Aquarius data, years 2010-2015 to assess the feasibility of monitoring such trends from satellite.

Aquarius Instrument-Only Calibration: Correcting Drift, Wiggles and Pseudo-random biases
Misra, S. and Brown, S. (18-Nov-15). The Aquarius instrument experience several different issues which can affect calibration, including drift, “wiggles” (i.e, pseudo-periodic oscillations in the data)and systematic psudo-random bias. The correction and status of all three issues are discussed within this presentation.

Aquarius Mission Status, Overview and Phase-F Data Reprocessing
Lagerloef, G. (18-Nov-15). Soon after the SAC-D/Aquarius mission end in early June 2015, NASA directed the Aquarius project team to prepare a proposal for the Phase-F Mission Closeout plan. The plan calls for the decommissioning of the Aquarius Ground System, documentation, and final data archive. The science activity primarily involves a complete data reprocessing with numerous calibration and algorithm updates that had been planned for this year, in order to improve the accuracy and quality as far as we are able with our present knowledge and experience. This Aquarius Data Version 5.0 is scheduled to be released in early to mid 2017 and Phase-F activities will end 30 June 2017. This presentation will summarize the algorithm improvements and the schedule.

Aquarius Pioneering the L-Band Passive and Active Microwave Remote Sensing of Sea Surface Salinity and Wind
Yueh, S., Fore, A., Tang, W., and Hayashi, A. (18-Nov-15). Mounting evidence has suggested that ocean salinity may not be sufficient for being a surrogate rain gauge for monitoring the change of the ocean water cycle. The observed salinity signals are often formed as a result of oceanic processes instead of as a direct consequence of the freshwater flux changes at the ocean surface. One issue that needs to be considered is how we can minimize the influence of ocean dynamic processes and the other is what aspects of the ocean water cycle can be constrained or checked by ocean salinity.

Aquarius Scatterometer Calibration
Fore, A., Neumann, G., Freedman, A., Chaubell, M., Tang, W., Hayashi, A., and Yueh, S. (18-Nov-15). In this talk we discuss the Aquarius scatterometer calibration, starting with the instrument calibration, by assessing the scatterometer stability.

Aquarius SSS Retrievals Using a Roughness Correction from MWR
Jones, W.L., Hejazin, Y., Jacob, M., and Rabolli, M. (17-Nov-15). Salinity microwave remote sensing is challenging due to the corrections required to obtain the smooth ocean surface brightness temperature from which SSS is derived. The largest error source is the surface warming due to oceanic winds, and the AQ/SAC-D baseline approach uses the AQ-scatterometer (Scat) measurement of ocean radar backscatter to infer L-band excess ocean emissivity associated with wind roughness.

Assimilation of Soil Moisture Estimates Into Flow-Forecasting Hydrologic Models
Uriburu Quirno, M. and Goniadzki, D. (17-Nov-15). The National Water Institute carried out a project called "Assimilation of Soil Moisture Estimates into Flow-Forecasting Hydrologic Models" with the purpose of implementing a hydrologic model that included mission soil moisture retrievals, to be used in basin-outlet flow simulation and forecast at two lowland catchments in Argentina (Gualeguay River and Pergamino Brook). The main quantitative project outcomes are summarized, including human resources training, publications, procurement of instruments and equipment, and field campaigns.

Bio-Optical Studies in the Argentine Sea
Dogliotti, A.I., Williams, G., Simionato, C., Lutz, V., Gossn, J.I., and Tropper, I. (19-Nov-15). The Argentine shelf and its shelf-break comprise a large and rich biological area of the ocean. Remote sensing of ocean color has demonstrated to be a very useful tool for monitoring the active and dynamic marine ecosystem providing near real-time, long-term, synoptic, global estimates of key parameters, such as surface chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentration.

CARMEN-1 Data Availability
Colazo, M.E. (17-Nov-15). CARMEN-1 is a package of instruments aboard SAC-D that includes components dedicated to the study of space radiation on advanced components, as well as the impact of micrometeoroids and micro orbital debris in the space environment. An overview of the availability data products and summary of CARMEN-1 measurements is provided.

Columnar Water Vapor Estimation Over Land Using Radiometer Data from SACD-Aquarius
Epeloa, J.E. and Meza, M.A. (17-Nov-15). The aim of this work is the retrieving atmospheric integrated columnar water vapor (CWV) over land surface by using the microwave radiometer (MWR) on board of the Scientific Argentine Satellite (SAC-D).

Combining Aquarius and ESSL Model Explains the Dynamic Process of Ocean Surface Salinity Stratification
Song, T.Y., Lee, T., Yue, S., and Qu, T. (18-Nov-15). Using a recently developed ESSL (extended surface-salinity layer) model [Song et al., JGR, 2013], we have examined the near-surface salinity stratifications with emphasis on understanding of the dynamical processes that differ from one region to another.

CONAE Microwave Radiometer Counts to TB Algorithm V7.0 and On Orbit Validation (Poster)
Jones, L., Ghazi, Z., Jacob, M.M., Santos-Garcia, A., and Bruscantini, C. (30-Nov-17). The Central Florida Remote Sensing Lab (CFRSL), in collaboration with CONAE, have developed two improved algorithms to convert the radiometric counts to brightness temperature (Tb) for production of MWR level-1 science data. This poster presents a description of these algorithms and shows results for MWR Cal/Val activities during the past 15 months.

Contribution from the SAC-D/Aquarius Observatory for a Better Understanding of Environmental Variables
Serafini, M.C. (17-Nov-15). Contribution from the SAC-D/Aquarius Observatory for a Better Understanding of Environmental Variables

Data Collection System (DCS) / Monitoring of Glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula
Mercado, G. and Marinsek, S. (17-Nov-15). This two-part presentation focuses on the Data Collection Platform (DCS), which contains instruments for the on board observatory. The second portion of the talk focuses on the use of the DCS to monitor Antarctic glaciers in conjunction with ground-based data loggers.

Effect of Climate Change on Aquatic Mammals from the South Western Atlantic Ocean
Cassini, M.H. and Gomez, J.J. (17-Nov-15). Satellite information on climatic variables is very important in biodiversity conservation research because wildlife population density and distribution critically depends on the environmental and climatic conditions. The rapid and large-scale recording of climate factors provided by satellite platforms, allows for efficient monitoring of the impact of climate global change on biodiversity.

Estimate of Uncertainties in the Aquarius Salinity Retrievals
Meissner, T., Wentz, F., and Lagerloef, G. (18-Nov-15). We present a method that allows for a realistic uncertainty assessment of the Aquarius salinity retrievals. This method involves modeling the errors of all input parameters that are ingested by the salinity retrieval algorithm. It also includes estimates for uncertainties due to contamination from land, sea ice and undetected RFI.

Global Atmospheric Products (Level 3) for MWR Microwave Radiometer
Heredia, S.D., Masuelli, S., and Madero, F. (17-Nov-15). The SAC-D/Aquarius mission was designed to provide weekly global map of sea surface salinity. In this way the MWR has the capability to produce these weekly information for its retrieved geophysical variables.

Impact of Boundary Layer Stability on Rough Surface Emmisivity
Brown, S. (18-Nov-15). This study assesses the dependence of atmospheric boundary layer stability on the excess emission generated by the rough ocean surface. The correction for this excess emission is one of the largest corrections required in the retrieval algorithm for sea surface salinity.

Indian Monsoon in the Oceanic and Terrestrial Water Balances
Liu, W.T. and Xie, X. (18-Nov-15). Soil moisture and surface salinity from Aquarius are used to characterize the vagary of monsoon, from the pre-monsoon drought to the oceanic causes of monsoon onset. The river discharges, derived from altimeter and land surface models are compared and their effects on salinity distribution and on continental mass balance are examined.

Inter-Annual to Decadal Variability of the South Atlantic in Simulations With an Eddy-Resolving Global Ocean Model
Campos, E.J.D., Chidichimo, M.P., Garzoli, S., and Matano, R. (19-Nov-15). Results of numerical experiments with a 1/12-Degree, 32-layers ocean general circulation model are used to investigate impacts of interannual to interdecadal changes in the wind forcing on the circulation and meridional transports in the South Atlantic.

Intraseasonal Sea Surface Salinity Variations in the Northeastern Tropical Pacific Fresh Pool
Lee, T., Hasson, A., Bingham, F., Farrar, T., and Boutin, J. (18-Nov-15). NASA field campaign SPURS-2, slated to take place in the Northeastern Tropical Pacific Fresh Pool, aims to improve the understanding of salinity processes in that region associated with high precipitation and active ocean dynamics. Satellite SSS from Aquarius and SMOS provide large-scale context to understand salinity processes in the region, which will complement the in-situ observations to be collected during SPURS-2. As part of the effort in preparation for SPURS-2, we examine the dominant temporal and spatial scales of SSS, using Aquarius and SMOS SSS measurements together with the output from a 18-km resolution ocean circulation model.

Intraseasonal to Interannual Variability of the Brazil Current Transport
Perez, R.C., Matano, R.P., Msadek, R., Garzoli, S.L., Meinen, C.S., Chidichimo, M.P., and Palma, E. (19-Nov-15). There are comparatively few studies of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) characterizing the water mass and circulation variability in the South Atlantic subtropical gyre, or how that variability impacts the AMOC in the South Atlantic. Here we use observations and high-resolution models to examine the interannual to decadal variability of sea level anomalies, water mass properties, and wind stress across the South Atlantic subtropical gyre.

La Plata Basin Floods and Droughts: Contribution of Microwave Remote Sensing in Monitoring and Prediction
Grings, F. (17-Nov-15). The project summary for Project 12 - La Plata Basin Floods and Droughts: Contribution of Microwave Remote Sensing in Monitoring and Prediction. The main achievements of the project focus on soil moisture retrieval using AQ radiometer/scatterometer, monitoring soil moisture conditions in the Pampas Plains, monitoring floods in the Paraná floodplain, multitemporal analysis of forest environments, and MWR radiometer calibration.

Low-Frequency Thermohaline Variability in the Subtropical South Atlantic Pycnocline During 2002-2013
Kolodziejczyk, N., Reverdin, G., Gaillard, F., and Lazar, A. (19-Nov-15). Low-frequency variability of salinity is observed in the Subtropical South Atlantic over the period 2002-2013 with the Argo gridded product ISAS.

Mission Overview
Torrusio, S. (17-Nov-15). An overview of the SAC-D Mission, including an overview of the instruments, applications, data, products, projects and the mission's legacy.

Monitoring and Understanding Seasonal and Interannual Variations of Sea Surface Salinity Associated With the Mississippi River Plume
Fournier, S., Tong, L., and Gierach, M. (18-Nov-15). The Mississippi River, the largest river in North America, provides a major contribution of freshwater into the Gulf of Mexico and has implications to ocean circulation in the subtropical North Atlantic. In this study, we use data from the NASA Aquarius/SAC-D and ESA SMOS satellites to study the seasonal and interannual variations of sea surface salinity (SSS) in the Gulf of Mexico near the outflow of the Mississippi River.

MWR Sea Ice Concentration
Masuelli, S. and Salgado, H. (17-Nov-15). The prototype L2 algorithm for MWR Sea Ice Concentration was first developed in 2010, with the first version being released in 2012 and a second version released in 2014. The first version experienced artifacts due to the Smear Effect, and resulted in the overestimate over the open sea. The second version included a correction for the Smear Effect, better land mask, an atmospheric filter, and was calibrated using six months of data.

Night-Time Marine Pollution Over Large Coastal Cities Analysis With DMSP-OLS Satellite Images.
Cotlier, C., Vicioso, B., Pacino, C., Balparda, L., Lãpez, D., and Cotlier, G. (17-Nov-15). This presentation outlines the use of the DMSP-OLS sensor to examine urban activity and marine light pollution by measuring night-time light.

NIRST Calibrations/SST Algorithms
Marraco, H. and Colazo, M. (17-Nov-15). The process and results of the calibration of NIRST (New Infrared Sensor Technology) and algorithms for sea surface temperature.

Ocean Surface Salinity from SMAP
Meissner, T., Wentz, F., Lagerloef, G., and Le Vine, D. (18-Nov-15). With the demise of Aquarius the ability of SMAP to measure ocean salinity has gained importance. We discuss the adaption of the Aquarius salinity retrieval algorithm to SMAP and address important differences between the Aquarius and SMAP.

On the Pathways of the MOC in the South Atlantic
Matano, R.P., Combes, V., and Palma, E.D. (19-Nov-15). We investigate the pathways of the meridional overturning circulation in the South Atlantic Ocean using the results of an eddy-resolving, nested model.

On the Seasonal Variations of Salinity of the Tropical Atlantic Mixed Layer
Camara, I., Kolodziejczyk, N., Mignot, J., Lazar, A., and Gaye, T.A. (19-Nov-15). The physical processes controlling the mixed layer salinity (MLS) seasonal budget in the tropical Atlantic ocean are investigated using a regional configuration of a ocean general circulation model.

Radiation Belts During Geomagnetic Storms Observed by Carmen/SAC-D
Dasso, S. and Lanabere, V. (17-Nov-15). The van Allen radiation belts contain energetic particles, trapped by the geomagnetic field. Short term variability of these particles are determined by the geomagnetic activity, which is mainly determined by the conditions of the solar wind near Earth and are strongly affected by geomagnetic storms. These storms are associated with changes in both the composition and energy of the population of particles in the van Allen radiation belts. The main aim of the present work is to characterize several aspects of the proton populations using observations from the detector ICARE-NG/CARMEN-1, aboard SAC-D.

Salinity Variations on Synoptic Timescales Under the Pacific ITCZ
Kao, H. and Lagerloef, G. (18-Nov-15). Due to the increased availability of data from Aquarius, SMOS satellites and Argo observations, sea surface salinity variations in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) have been able to be studied.

Sea Ice Extension and Concentration from SAC-D MWR Data
Carballo, F., Masuelli, S., Salgado, H., Labanda, M., and Barreira, S. (17-Nov-15). Sea ice cover is the most important feature of the polar ocean environment and plays a key role in the balance of energy exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, significantly involved in global climate change. Satellite microwave sensors (such as the SAC-D Microwave Radiometer) provide information about floating ice coverage, regardless of cloud and light conditions using brightness temperature.

Sea Surface Height Variability in Drake Passage
Donohue, K.A., Watts, D.R., and Kennelly, M. (19-Nov-15). Results of the cDrake experiment (2007-2011), which studied the Antarctic Circumpolar Current using an array of current and pressure recording inverted echo sounders (CPIES) are discussed.

Seasonal Circulation on the Southwest Atlantic Shelf
Strub, P.T., Matano, R.P., James, C., Combes, V., Piola, A., Palma, E., Saraceno, M., Guerrero, R., Fenco, H., and Ruiz Etcheverry, L. (19-Nov-15). The seasonal circulation is described over the wide continental shelf in the SW Atlantic Ocean (27°-43°S) during 2001-2012.

Shelf-Open Exchanges in ihe Southwestern Atlantic Ocean: Numerical Simulations
Matano, R.P., Combes, V., Piola, A.R., Guerrero, R., Palma, E.D., Strub, P.T., James, C., Fenco, H., Chao, Y., and Saraceno, M. (19-Nov-15). A high-resolution model is used to characterize the dominant patterns of sea surface salinity (SSS) variability in the southwestern Atlantic region.

Shelf-Open Ocean Exchanges in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean: Satellite Salinity Observations
Guerrero, R.A., Piola, A.R., Fenco, H., Matano, R.P., Combes, V., Chao, Y., James, C., Palma, E.D., Saraceno, M., and Strub, P.T. (19-Nov-15). Satellite sea surface salinity (SSS) data from Aquarius and SMOS reveal intense shelf-open ocean exchanges in the western South Atlantic. A strong seasonal SSS pattern is modulated by the seasonality of the along-shelf component of the wind stress over the shelf. However, the precise location of the export of shelf waters depends on offshore circulation patterns.

Soil Moisture Retrieval Using Aquarius/SAC-D Radiometer/Scatterometer Observations
Bruscantini, C.A., Grings, F.M., and Karszenbaum, H. (18-Nov-15). Throughout the operational life of the Aquarius instrument, an alternative soil moisture product has been developed. An Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) for Aquarius was developed to assess the impact of sources of errors in the soil moisture retrieval.

South Atlantic Circulation and Salinity: An Integrated Observational and Modeling Investigation
Piola, A.R., Palma, E.D., and Saraceno, M. (17-Nov-15). A project summary for project 1 - South Atlantic Circulation and Salinity: An Integrated Observational and Modeling Investigation. The above project led to 11 peer-reviewed publications, 3 congress article and 28 congress and workshop presentations.

South Atlantic Low-Frequency Variability from Soda
Palma, E.D. and Matano, R.P. (19-Nov-15). We characterize the low frequency variability of the South Atlantic circulation using 50 years of data from the SODA model.

South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAMOC)
Garzoli, S.L. (19-Nov-15). Until recently, most Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) observing programs have focused on the North Atlantic. However, recent model analyses have suggested that critical water mass changes to the upper and lower limbs of the MOC occur in the South Atlantic.

Studying SIC in the Weddell and Bellinghausen Seas with SAC-D MWR
Lorenzo, B., Cuello, A., Raed, M., Sedeño, A., Sánchez, Y., Antes, M., Gari, J., and Miño, R (17-Nov-15). Palabras Clave: Concentración, Hielo marino, Radiómetro de Microonda Antarctica is one of the most inhospitable and inaccessible places on Earth, located to the South of 60° S. There, it is 90% of the ice of the planet and almost three quarters of the reserves of fresh water of the world.

The Legacy of Aquarius Within the Aquarius/SAC-D Mission
Lindstrom, E., Lagerloef, G., and Le Vine, D. (17-Nov-15). Aquarius was NASA's first mission dedicated to measuring ocean surface salinity, and demonstrated both technical feasibility and scientific merit. The overarching science goal was to understand the links between ocean circulation, the water cycle and climate.

The South Atlantic Subtropical Gyre Position the Larger Scale Ocean and Climate System
Giulivi, C.F. and Gordon, A.L. (19-Nov-15). Using a diverse set of observational and model data we examine the seasonal to decadal variability of the South Atlantic subtropical gyre in the context of changes in the gyre's relationship to the larger scale ocean and climate system and the response of the gyre interior to its boundary.

Tools, Services and Support of NASA Salinity Data at the PO.DAAC
Vazquez, J. and Tsontos, V. (18-Nov-15). A view of the current state of the availability of Aquarius mission data, including the currently publicly-available dataset Version 4.0., datasets utilized for calibration and validation efforts, and additional datasets from other campaigns (e.g., SPURS field campaign data) available on PO.DAAC.

Use of SAC-D Observatory for Supporting Research in Fisheries and Ecosystem Management in San MatÃas Gulf (Patagonia Argentina) - Project Pict Conae-Conicet #04
Narvarte, M.A., González, R.A., and Williams, G. (17-Nov-15). Field measurements of sea surface temperature were attempted to be used to evaluate the performance of the standard sea surface temperature algorithm of the New IR Sensor Technology (NIRST).

Validation of Data from the SAC-D/Aquarius Mission: Application to the Knowledge of Vegetation Water Stress
Rivas, N. (17-Nov-15). A project summary for "Validation of data from the SAC-D / AQUARIUS mission: Application to the knowledge of vegetation water stress".

Water Vapor, Rain Rate and Rain Flag Algorithms for MWR Microwave Radiometer
Heredia, S.D. and Rabolli, M. (17-Nov-15). The Aquarius MWR microwave radiometer can indirectly measure several geophysical parameters: water vapor column, rain rate, wind speed and ice concentration. Because MWR measures brightness temperatures but not geophysical parameters, it is necessary to establish a relationship that links them to obtain geophysical variables from brightness temperatures and auxiliary data.

What, How, and Where Can Ocean Salinity be an Indicator of the Ocean Water Cycle?
Yu, L., Jin, X., Josey, S., and Lee, T. (18-Nov-15). Mounting evidence has suggested that ocean salinity may not be sufficient for being a surrogate rain gauge for monitoring the change of the ocean water cycle. The observed salinity signals are often formed as a result of oceanic processes (e.g. advection, mixing, and entrainment) instead of being a direct consequence of the freshwater flux changes at the ocean surface. Therefore, the use of ocean salinity for the water cycle study needs to consider two issues.