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Mission Status & Events

Commissioning Update From Aquarius PI Gary Lagerloef: Radiometer Channel Values Consistent
[21-Aug-11] The Aquarius instrument calibration/validation working group worked late Saturday and early Sunday on several aspects of the radiometer data quality from the first few orbits since it was turned on Saturday evening. All the radiometer channels are showing values that are consistent with pre-launch calibration. Preliminary estimates of the biases indicate that they are much as 4 to 5 Kelvin in some channels, but that is as expected. Calibration otherwise appears to be very stable. We also see a clear, albeit noisy, wind-speed correlation that is also consistent with pre-launch estimates.

Late Sunday, we powered-on the radar scatterometer in receive-only mode. Preliminary analyses of the first orbit shows that the receiver gains are very stable over the ocean and clear of radio frequency interference (RFI).

The task for Monday is to verify, as best as possible, that scatterometer power-on had no effect on the radiometer data. Later on Monday, we will turn on the radar scatterometer solid state power amplifier (SSPA), but without radar transmission. Again, we will be examining whether the subsequent radiometer data shows any effect.