Monday, May 13, 2013|
Friends and Colleagues,
Here is very belated newsletter about recent and upcoming Aquarius science activities.
1. 25 April, marked the completion of 20 months since the start of routine data collection on 25 August 2011.
Most of you are aware that the Aquarius project released Version 2.0 (V2.0) data files in late February via the
NASA PO.DAAC. A thorough presentation of the processing,
calibration and error analysis was done in the form an open web meeting in late January with more than 100 participants. A
key improvement in this data set is in correcting the quasi-monthly calibration oscillations evident in the previous version
(V1.3). However, users should be aware that the V2.0 data still contain systematic inaccuracies that could be misinterpreted,
especially on the seasonal cycle. These are carefully documented in the
Aquarius Salinity data validation analysis
available, along with other important documents, on the PO.DAAC Aquarius link. PLEASE READ THIS REPORT if you
are doing any scientific analyses with the data. The seasonal oscillations are attributed to the corrections to the galactic
reflection and are linked to the relative position of the galaxy in the sky over the course of the year. A new processing
version that corrects much of this problem, as well as other issues, is now being tested and likely to be released mid year.
2. Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans) Special Section opens in July. As announced in previous bulletins and emails late
last year, the JGR special section titled Early scientific results from the salinity measuring satellites Aquarius/SAC-D and
SMOS, will be open for submitting papers this year from 1 July to 31 October 2013. The topics will cover new science results,
data validation, modeling and analysis, and related topics. Beginning 1 July, authors will find a link in GEMS for submitting
manuscripts to the special section. There is already considerable interest in contributing papers to this landmark JGR collection.
3. The next Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting will be held in Argentina the week of 11-15 November 2013. Read the
announcement here. Please mark your
calendars. The longer-range plan is to hold the subsequent meeting in the US around September 2014.
Other recent news. A Joint SMOS Aquarius Science Workshop was hosted by ESA and IFREMER at Brest France, 15-17 April 2013.
The workshop focused on two themes common to both missions' salinity measurements: One is the SMOS-Aquarius inter-comparison
working group, chaired by David LeVine, and the other is the Satellite & In Situ Salinity (SISS) working group
(understanding stratification and sub-footprint processes) chaired by Yi Chao and Jacqueline Boutin.
The program for the Joint Workshop and access to presentations are available
Mission status. The Aquarius sensor and the SAC-D observatory continue to perform well. During much of the second half of 2012
there were interruptions in the precise geodetic pointing, and some safe hold events. These occurred during the first and last
quarters of the lunar cycle as the moonlight sometimes interfered with the star tracker. In November, 2012 the Flight Operations
Team implemented ways to mitigate this problem and it has since been under control. A number of cold-sky calibration maneuvers
have also been done in recent months. A chronology of SAC-D/Aquarius maneuvers, anomalies and events is
available hhere, and can also be accessed from the main Aquarius webpage via
the Data link.
Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Presentations from the 15-17 April "SMOS & Aquarius Science Workshop" are
now available for download
by clicking on the links at the top of each session.
] Aquarius Calibration/Validation workshop as held to review Aquarius
V2.0 data and establish plans for the V3.0 data release.
] Abstracts for the SMOS-Aquarius Science Workshop
(15-17 April 2013) are due on 18-Feb-13. Details available at www.smosaquarius2013.org
] Aquarius Sessions at the 2012 Fall AGU Meeting:
The NASA Exceptional Public Service award is presented to Daniel Caruso
The AQ Launch, Early Orbit Ops, and Commissioning Team is being recognized during JPL's 2012 NASA Honor Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 18 at
1:30pm on the JPL Mall. This NASA Honor Award is presented to a number of carefully selected teams who have distinguished themselves by making
outstanding contributions to the NASA mission. The details of the award are:
Group Achievement Award. Scheduled Group Acceptor:
Ban Tieu Citation:
For outstanding achievement in launching the AQ/SAC-D
Observatory and commissioning the Aquarius instrument for unprecedented global sea surface salinity observations
] NASA today presented the Exceptional Public Service
Medal to Daniel Caruso, for exceptional management and leadership in the development of the joint NASA/CONAE Aquarius/SAC-D Mission,
resulting in a successful launch and science return.
] "Aquarius: One Year After Launch"
has been published in the latest issue of NASA's The Earth Observer
. The feature article gives an overview the mission's
first year accomplishments including early science results.
Friends and Colleagues,|
1. Today, 25 June 2012, marks 10 months since the start of routine data collection on 25 August 2011.
2. Launch Anniversary. Sunday, June 10, marked the one year anniversary of the launch of Aquarius/SAC-D from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, 14:20:13 UTC. If you are as nostalgic as I am, you can view the launch sequence
3. Aquarius Science Cal/Val Workshop: 29 October – 2 November 2012 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. This gathering is primarily a project calibration/validation workshop to review the results of the algorithm updates taking
place over the summer (See Section 7 below). The main agenda is to assess the progress of the calibration/validation
working group and the current state of the data processing and measurement uncertainties, prior to the release of validated
data in December 2012. There will be a day included for science sessions on data analysis and research results in addition
to the calibration/validation. Members of the broader international SAC-D/Aquarius, Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS)
mission, and NOAA science teams will also be welcome. More logistic details will be provided during the summer.
4. Fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting Special Session: OS034. Science Results
from the Aquarius and SMOS Ocean Salinity Missions. Please make plans for presenting your early results from Aquarius or
SMOS measurements at this session. We expect this session to be well attended. Abstract Deadline is 8 August 2012. See the
session description and abstract submission pages here.
Other related sessions include:
Special sessions for salinity remote sensing are also planned for
IGARSS (IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society), 23-27 July, in Munich.
- OS028: Ocean Surface Emissivity for Passive Remote Sensing Observations
- OS024: Observations and Modeling of Regional and Global Freshwater and Saltwater Budgets and Transport
- H045: SMOS - ESA's Water Mission
- H033: Using Field Measurements and Experiments to Advance Science
5. Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans). As announced in the last bulletin, a special section has
been approved by the editorial board, titled "Early scientific results from the salinity measuring satellites
Aquarius/SAC-D and SMOS". The submission window has now been postponed a few months and will be open next
year from February 1st to May 30th, 2013. The topics will cover new science results, data validation, modeling
and analysis, and related topics. More will be posted on this in the months ahead, including submission details.
Please start thinking now about research topics relevant to your studies that would be suitable for this
landmark Journal of Geophysical Research collection.
6. Recent Science Team Meeting. The Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting was held 11-13 April 2012 in
Buenos Aires. The meeting website is here.
The agenda and links to presentations are available here.
This was the first joint Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team meeting after the launch, and its central purpose was to assess the
status and science progress for both the Aquarius and SAC-D sides of the mission. The agenda included mission operations,
algorithm, data processing, calibration and data validation updates. Science presentations covered various comparisons with
in situ data, SMOS data and models. Other important breakout discussions addressed the effect of near surface salinity
stratification on the validating the satellite salinity with in situ platforms, and relation to accumulated rainfall,
diurnal cycles, ascending-descending differences, and understanding 'skin' versus 'bulk' surface salinity in general. There
was a general consensus to foster more collaboration between Aquarius and SMOS on many of these common problems. Breakout
sessions also covered status and results from the SAC-D instruments: Microwave Radiometer (MWR), New Infrared Sensor
Technology (NIRST), High Sensitivity Camera (HSC) and Data Collection System (DCS).
7. Aquarius Science Algorithm and Data Products. At the start of the April science meeting, the Aquarius project
released Version 1.3 (V1.3) reprocessed data. Since that time, V1.3 is the baseline algorithm in the Aquarius data
processing stream. The data files appear at the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) with
about 2 or 3-day latency. Previous versions (V1.1, V1.2DR, V1.2.2 and V1.2.3) will remain at the PO.DAAC as an archive, but
are no longer being processed.
The PO.DAAC link to Aquarius data is here.
Two key features of V1.3 are:
The Discussion Forum. This tool has been available for some time, and now I am advocating the use of it for an
open Sea Surface Salinity Users Working Group. The page is called the "SEA SURFACE SALINITY SCIENCE TEAM FORUMS". There
is a one-time registration. Go here and click on create new account. You
will then receive an email confirming your addition to the forum. A few subgroups are listed, and we will start with a
subgroup called SSS Products and Algorithms, which (perhaps by the time you read this) will be renamed the SSS Users
Working Group. Please use this forum to share your findings, particularly regarding surface validation, ask questions and make
comments. If issues arise with the forum site, please contact:
- The scatterometer data are included with National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) vector wind in a hybrid
roughness correction; and
- The deflection ratio (DR) calibration drift correction is applied in the processing stream. This uses internal noise
diode temperatures to effectively remove the secular long-term calibration drift and a portion of shorter-term variations,
although small residual errors (informally called "wiggles") on quasi-monthly timescale remain in the data.
Mission Status. The Aquarius sensor and the SAC-D observatory continue to perform well. There are a few brief
interruptions in the precise geodetic pointing during the first and last quarters of the lunar cycle as the moonlight
sometimes interferes with the star tracker. Two cold-sky calibration maneuvers have been done in recent months, and the
next one is planned for 30-Jun-12. This maneuver lets the radiometers measure the cosmic background for calibration. A
chronology of SAC-D/Aquarius maneuvers, anomalies and events is located here,
and can also be accessed from the main Aquarius webpage via the "Data" link. Below is the 9-month composite global image
for the time period 25-Aug-11 through 04-Jun-12 using the V1.3 data.
Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Got Salt? NASA's Salt Mapper Toasts First Birthday
] "A Measure of Salt" is the NASA Earth Observatory's
image of the day.
] Materials from the 7th Aquarius/SAC-D Science Meeting have been put online
] Friends and Colleagues,
Science Team Meeting
The next Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting will be 11-13 April 2012 in Buenos Aires, and the date is fast approaching. The meeting
provides travel, venue, lodging and registration information.
This will be the first post-launch reunion of the joint US-Argentine Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team and will focus on instrument
performance assessments and early science results. The call for abstracts will be posted on the meeting website, and is shown below.
Abstract deadline is 20-Mar-12.
Aquarius Science Algorithm and Data Products
During the months of January and February, the algorithm team has been designing and testing a new correction to radiometer calibration
drift using internal sensor data called "deflection ratios" (DR). The good news is that this does an excellent job of correcting the
long-term monotonic drift. However, residual shorter-term transient variations are not fully corrected and leave small (~0.2 psu)
quasi-monthly variations in the data. Of course we are working on this now, so we expect to have additional corrections to come along
as soon as we can.
Along with the new DR drift correction, several changes are in the works for Level 2 (L2) science data products, including an improved
roughness model, and additional variables for the roughness and land corrections. These changes will be incorporated into the next
operational version of the processing code, V1.3, which may be ready for evaluation release in March. As we further process the data,
we will continue to investigate the bias between the data collected on the ascending passes (south to north) and the descending passes
(north to south). The differences have regional patterns and the global mean ascending-descending bias is about -0.2 psu. The source
is not yet understood. Click here
to link to Aquarius data.
The Aquarius sensor and the SAC-D observatory continue to perform well. We are about to reach the milestone of six months of
un-interrupted Aquarius data since the instrument commissioning sequence was finished on 25-Aug-11. Attached below is the 5.5-month
average composite global image through 08-Feb-12.
Presentations and Publications
were presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2012, Salt Lake City, including a focused session on Monday February
20th. An Aquarius special session
is scheduled at the IEEE
MicroRad meeting 5-9 March in Rome, Italy. Papers are submitted also for the European Geosciences Union General Assembly
in Vienna (23-27 April) and the 44th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics
in Belgium (7-11 May). Special sessions for salinity remote sensing are also planned for the IEEE International Geoscience And Remote Sensing Symposium
in Munich (22-27 July).
I submitted a Brief Report on Aquarius’ progress to EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union to be published shortly. Several of
us prepared a sidebar article on Aquarius to appear in the ocean salinity section of the
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
special issue later this year on State of the Climate 2011.
Lastly, the proposal for a Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans
on salinity remote sensing science results has been approved, with submission deadline at the end of 2012.
Please stay tuned for more information and I look forward to seeing you at these conferences...Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius
] PO.DAAC has released its new, interactive Aquarius Level 3 image browser
The browser allows navigation and viewing of PO.DAAC Aquarius imagery data holdings by time period as individual global sea surface
salinity (SSS) maps and animation sequences. All images are of global, 1 degree spatial resolution Aquarius Level 3 v1.2DR data. Learn
more at here
] Aquarius Level 3 data are now available at the PO.DAAC. Level 3 data are gridded onto
a 1 degree x 1 degree grid. Both salinity and wind speed are available in daily, 7-day, monthly, and seasonally averaged files. The data
should continue to be used for evaluation purposes only. Learn more here
] PO.DAAC has made available both Level 2 and Level 3 data for version V1.2DR of the
Aquarius/SAC-D data set. The differences between V1.2DR and V1.2 result from the change of correction technique for radiometer
calibration drift. For V1.2DR, the brightness temperature corrections are computed using the noise-diode deflection ratios derived from
the instrument data alone, and the ancillary data were only used to train the coefficients in the deflection-ratio based correction model
initially. Learn more here
] Greetings to all, and best wishes for a prosperous New Year. A couple of
months have passed since my last update in October, and there is much to report on.
During the months of October and November, the project completed the Post Launch Assessment Review (PLAR) process with NASA,
and December 1st, 2011, marked the beginning of the Aquarius Science Operations Phase. The Aquarius sensor and the
SAC-D observatory continue to perform well. During the holidays, we reached a milestone of having received four-months of
un-interrupted Aquarius data since the instrument commissioning sequence was finished on 25 August.
to see the 3-month
average composite global image for the time period 28 August through 29 November using bias-drift corrected data (read more about this
correction below). When compared to the initial 2.5-week average image we released in September
the 3-month average yields a much less noisy pattern which clearly shows the major climatological salinity features and
smaller scale structures. (The images were prepared by Norman Kuring at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).
The team has been busy presenting papers to the scientific community including the World Climate Research Programme Open
Science Conference (24-28 October, Denver) and Fall American Geophysical Union (5-9 December, San Francisco) with some of
the early results. Here are some upcoming meetings that include special sessions on salinity-related topics:
Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting (11-13 April, Buenos Aires); Ocean Sciences Meeting (20-24 February, Salt Lake City);
IEEE MicroRad (5-9 March, Rome); and 44th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics (7-11 May, Belgium). I am
finishing a Brief Report
on Aquarius' progress for publication in Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. I have
also been working with the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans Chief Editor on plans for a special section on salinity
remote sensing science results (i.e., NASA's Aquarius and European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity missions).
Although the Aquarius sensor is performing very well, the small calibration drift that I reported earlier has persisted.
This has been the subject of much analysis and discussion among calibration working group members during the past several
months. In October, we implemented an adaptive time-varying calibration correction for each radiometer channel using
surface reference data fit to a seven-day moving window centered on each orbit file which is performing quite well. The
calibration correction is done in a delayed mode and is now updated only through November. This is available as
Version 1.2 on the data distribution site
. We plan to
release an update through the end of December in the next several days. As the overall system is better understood over
time, newer and better algorithms will be developed. When new versions are ready, data will reprocessed from the beginning
of collection (i.e., late August 2011). So stay tuned!
We continue to make good progress with Aquarius, and I will make an effort to provide these updates more frequently. We
have a big year ahead of us in 2012...Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Today marks the beginning of the Aquarius Science Operations Phase with
completion of the NASA Post Launch Assessment Review (PLAR) process.
] I am pleased to say that an Aquarius "first light" image was the subject of
a NASA Press Release on Thursday, and is generating quite a bit of excitement. You can see the image and learn more about it
at the following links:
The map reveals predominantly well-known ocean salinity features, such as higher salinity in the subtropics, higher average
salinity in the Atlantic Ocean compared to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and lower salinity in rainy belts near the equator,
in the northernmost Pacific Ocean and elsewhere. The data also show important smaller details, such as the extent of
low-salinity water associated with outflow from the Amazon River. Other interesting patterns include wave-like features
along the boundaries between high- and low-salinity regions in the tropics.
There are a few other things to know
about the image: It is a composite of the first two and a half weeks of data since Aquarius became operational on August 25.
These data contain uncertainties, and calibration and data validation work remains. Measurements in the southernmost ocean
regions are not yet reliable as they are associated with high winds and low surface temperatures. The north-south striped
patterns visible throughout the image are artifacts of small residual calibration errors and thus are not real. Low salinity
values immediately adjacent to land and ice-covered areas are due to proximity to coastlines or ice edges, which introduces
errors into the data. Although preliminary near-shore corrections have been applied, these will require additional analyses
It's a very good start. Enjoy the view!Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] During the past week, the Aquarius instrument has
continued operating in normal science mode, with all radiometer and radar channels performing well. There have been a couple of orbit
maneuvers during the week, which caused brief data interruptions while the satellite was not in the normal earth pointing mode. The
Aquarius sensors remained on, but were pointing off in the wrong direction during these intervals.
The data continue to look
excellent. The Aquarius Data Processing System (ADPS) group at Goddard implemented the updates that make up Version 1.1 of the code, and
reprocessed all the existing data. The calibration/validation working group assessed the results this week, and today decided that there are
no evident problems with the processing code. We still plan to start releasing the data to the science team toward the end of next week.
We continue to work closely with NASA and JPL media relations personnel to issue a press release with a "first light" global salinity map by
the middle to late next week, coordinated with the release of the Version 1.1 evaluation data. This image will be a composite of the first
17 days of data since the instrument became fully operational on August 25. Right now, I can say that I am very pleased with the data quality
and am grateful to the members of the calibration working group and data processing team who have worked diligently over the past few weeks
to get us to this stage.
Until next Friday, best regards to all,Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Two weeks have passed since my last posting from Cordoba Argentina on August 25th. Since
that time, there are a number of important events and results to tell you about.
The Aquarius instrument has been operating
in normal science mode since August 25, with all radiometer and radar channels performing well. There was a brief ~1-hour data gap on
August 25th during an engineering test, and otherwise the data have been continuous for two weeks: the data so far look excellent.
Meanwhile, during the past two weeks the CONAE/SAC-D instrument team has been bringing all the other instruments on line (see here
a payload description). Preliminary results from the microwave radiometer (MWR) also look excellent. The other SAC-D instruments are still
going through initial testing, and all have been powered-on successfully. At this time, the Aquarius calibration/validation (cal/val) working
group has not detected any interference to Aquarius data related to the power-on of the SAC-D instruments, and this analysis is ongoing.
The final phase for the mission's post launch commissioning is a period of propulsion maneuvers, beginning next week, to refine
the orbit to achieve the required exact-repeat 7-day cycle for the science operations (it is quite close to this already). The orbit
adjustments will involve several different maneuvers spread out over the next four weeks. The Aquarius and MWR instruments will remain on
during the propulsion maneuvers, although the satellite pointing will change and disrupt the normal measurements. Each maneuver will
typically take less time than one orbit. Some maneuvers are expected to orient the sensors toward deep space and provide a serendipitous
cold-sky calibration. We expect the orbit adjustment period to be finished in early October. At that time, all of the key on-orbit
commissioning activities for the Aquarius/SAC-D mission will be done and we will be ready to enter the science phase of the mission.
Now, returning to the Aquarius data: The Aquarius cal/val working group has been meeting daily to review and analyze the data. Several
algorithm changes, including new radiometer calibrations, are currently being implemented on the data processing system at Goddard Space
Flight Center. When we verify the processing is correct, we plan to start releasing the data to the science team and broader community,
likely during the week of September 19th. We plan for these data files to start at August 25, 2011, with first orbit on that day being orbit
1, cycle 1; each cycle will be 7 days and will contain 103 orbits. Note that the exact repeat will not be precisely set until the end of
the orbit adjustments.
NASA Headquarters and JPL media relations personnel are also working with the project to issue a press
release with a "first light" global salinity map during the week of September 19.
My intention now is to provide you a new
update every week, typically on Fridays.
Until next time, best regards to all,Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal
] Today the team continued with the scatterometer gain assessment and collected data
in full Mission Mode. The Aquarius instrument, with all its systems, performed nominally, as expected. A final X-band downlink is
being analyzed by the team and will be presented at tomorrow's Aquarius Commissioning Subphase Review (CSR). This will mark the
end of Aquarius instrument commissioning.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - I am pleased to report to
you all the the Aquarius instrument is fully operational in normal science mode. All the data channels appear to be working fine.
Tomorrow (26-Aug-11) we will have a brief review of the commissioning activity over the past two weeks. Our work here is done. We have
concluded one journey and are embarking on the next one.
The calibration working group will continue to monitor the
performance as the various SAC-D sensors are turned on starting Monday (29-Aug-11). In another week or so, there is a chance that we
will be ready to update the processing algorithms and perhaps start releasing data soon after. I will keep you posted.
For now, this will be my last posting from Cordoba, Argentina. Best regards to all... - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal
] After receiving concurrence from the Aquarius Science Team that no events correlated with the
scatterometer turn-on could be seen in the radiometer data, the team proceeded to switch the scatterometer back to receive-only all-beams modes.
The instrument also transmitted using all beams. The team is reviewing the x-band downlinked data. Tomorrow’s (Aug 25) activities will include
one final orbit to assess the scatterometer gain in transmit mode. After that, the team will monitor the system in the full Aquarius Mission
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Wednesday, we completed the final
stage of the Aquarius commissioning. We evaluated the overall performance after the start of radar transmission on one beam Tuesday night. We
continued to find all indications of the health of the instrument were good. The radar data look very good as well. We then proceeded
to switch the instrument back to receive-only mode for one orbit then began transmitting the radar on all three beams at 21:23 UT. Aquarius
is now operating in normal science mission mode!
On Thursday we will be monitoring the data in mission mode. There will be about
a one-orbit interruption for a radar diagnostic test, but otherwise we will be collecting data routinely on radiometer and scatterometer channels.
Toward the end of next week we will make a number of modifications to the processing algorithms, and then re-process the complete record.
Assuming that is satisfactory, we will probably start releasing the data as is, recognizing that there remains many months of calibration
and validation work ahead of us all. - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Today the Aquarius Science Team reviewed radiometer data: no unexpected events were seen in the timeframe of
the Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA) turn-on and the results look consistent with the radiometer data collected the previous day. There was unanimous
agreement to proceed with the scatterometer single-beam transmit as planned. The scatterometer transmitted on beam 3, the team is reviewing the x-band
downlinked data. Tomorrow's (Aug 24) activities will include setting the scatterometer back to "receive-only" mode, switching to all beams, and then starting
to transmit on all three beams.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Tuesday, the instrument team and the calibration
working group verified that the radiometer signatures were unaffected at the time that the scatterometer solid state power amplifier (SSPA) was turned on
late Monday. So far so good. Later in the day, we began to transmit with the radar on beam 3 (outer beam). The preliminary assessment from the first two
orbits is that the radar data are as expected with appropriate responses over the ocean. The first look at the radiometer response also shows no interference
from the radar. On Wednesday we plan to start transmitting on all three beams. From that point on, Aquarius will be in normal science operating mode. We are
The calibration team continues to do excellent work on the preliminary data analysis, including refining the wind speed effect, bias
estimates and finding a problem with the galactic reflection correction. The calibration biases appear to be quite stable over the first 35 orbits based on
a couple of different analysis methods. - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Today a meeting was held with the Aquarius Science Team to discuss the radiometer data
received to date, with unanimous agreement to proceed with the solid state power amplifier (SSPA) turn-on as planned. Aquarius then
completed the second half of scatterometer checkout by turning on the SSPA. All commands have been successfully executed, and all
telemetry has been verified to be nominal. Tomorrow's (Aug 23rd) activities will include setting the scatterometer mode to single beam, then
starting its transmit on Beam 3 only.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Today, the calibration
working group discussed various findings after a day or so of radiometer data. We are beginning to converge on consistent estimates of
the radiometer brightness temperature biases for each of the polarization channels for each of the three radiometers. The team also
looked carefully and found no radiometer changes associated with the turn-on of the scatterometer receiver. Accordingly, we powered on
the scatterometer solid state power amplifier (SSPA) earlier this evening (without the transmitter on). We are doing these sequential
scatterometer commissioning steps while the satellite is viewing the ocean and away from land to minimize and external variations. This
increases our confidence that each stage has no measurable effect of the radiometer signal. Even though this was all verified on the ground
during the extensive pre-launch testing, we are taking these careful steps to verify that it is all working as planned in orbit. Assuming
that all looks well Tuesday, we will initiate the radar transmitter on one of the three beams late in the day. - Gary
Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - 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. - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] Today's activities included completing the Flight Software Patches and Radiometer RF On.
All commands were successfully executed, and all telemetry was verified to be nominal. Tomorrow’s activities include setting up the
Scatterometer parameters and then powering on the instrument. Nominally, Aquarius will be put into Mission Mode on 26-Aug with the
Commissioning Review on 27-Aug.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - On Saturday evening
the team powered-on the Aquarius radiometers for the first time in space. This occurred during the pass over McMurdo Ground
Station, Antarctica, during the pass that began at 2022 UT, and the power on was at about 2027 UT. All the initial telemetry
looked good. It was gratifying to see the many indicators turn green on the telemetry viewer.
At 2218 UT we got the
first science data downlink here at Cordoba, which covered almost 1.5 orbits. The initial analysis of the radiometer
electronics was much like what was expected. The initial calculations of the radiometer science data antenna brightness
temperatures also looked excellent. The over-ocean values were as expected and it was easy to see the large changes between
land and ocean. Deriving salinity from the data is not yet feasible until we compute now calibrations for the radiometers.
The calibration/validation team will be studying the initial few orbits Sunday to ensure that all is clear to
power-on the scatterometer electronics later in the day. - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius
] Planned Flight Software (FSW) Patches were installed. All commands were successfully
executed, and all telemetry was verified to be nominal. X-band downlinks were performed before and after the patch installation to
verify the integrity of the Instrument Command and Data System (ICDS). The Active Thermal Controlled 4 thermal zones are exhibiting
excellent thermal stability.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Friday, the Active Thermal
Control (ATC) system brought key zones on the instrument up to their design operating temperatures. Very precise thermal control
is necessary to ensure the proper sensor calibration once the science instruments are turned on later. The telemetry today showed
that the ATC is working very well and the measured variations remained much smaller than the design requirements.
of the work Friday was uploading and verifying the flight software patches. The telemetry showed that this was also going smoothly.
Saturday's activities include uploading and installing the remaining software patches. The microwave radiometers are now
scheduled to be turned on during a pass over the Alaska ground station beginning at 1803 UT Saturday. The first data downlink will be
4 hours later, after about 2.5 orbits. - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] The Radiometer Digital Processing Unit (DPU) was powered on today. The four Active
Thermal Control (ATC) zones were configured for the nominal mission mode, and the four ATC zones were powered on. The ATC heater
modules are operating at 100% until their control PRTs reach their setpoints. All commands were successfully executed, and all
telemetry was verified to be nominal. Tomorrow, August 19th, will include turning on the radiometer and scatterometer replacement
heaters, uplinking and installing the Scatterometer Flight SoftWare (FSW) patch, and uplinking the Science FSW patch.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Today's activities were
quite calm relative to the past two days. The Aquarius team first executed commands to power-up the radiometer's digital processing unit.
This was followed by sequentially powering on the four Active Thermal Control (ATC) zones within the Aquarius instrument to bring them up
to the planned operating temperatures. The telemetry readings were all positive throughout the day.
On Friday the team will
upload a series of software patches. One of team explained to me last night that it is like downloading and installing a new 'service
pack' for your favorite computer applications. In the case of Aquarius, these will apply some critical updates
to the instrument flight software.
I regret that I have no fancy diagrams to share today. If you can read spanish, you
might enjoy this interview
was published today in Argentina's Clarin
newspaper. - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] At approximately 12:02pm local Cordoba Argentina time, the Aquarius boom was
successfully deployed and latched, confirmed by the real-time downlinked telemetry. This completes the one-time deployment
of the Aquarius antenna system. Tomorrow, Aug 18th, the team will turn on the Radiometer Digital Processing Unit and the
Active Thermal Control.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Earlier today, we
completed the second deployment stage of the Aquarius antenna at about 1501 UT, with many cheers from those of us sitting here
overlooking the control room. The deployment again took place over the Arctic with coverage from Svalbard and Alaska tracking
satellite's roll, pitch and yaw angles. The roll (green symbols) changed almost 8 degrees during the deployment, as predicted.
The boom and reflector combination are now latched into the proper alignment, and the satellite is back in the normal science
pointing mode. This critical event is now successfully behind us, and we are one giant step closer to begin collecting science
Tomorrow and Friday we will turn on the thermal control system and upload software patches. The radiometers will
be turned on Saturday, 20 August (a correction from yesterday's memo). - Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] At approx. 11:35am local Cordoba, Argentina time the Aquarius reflector
was successfully deployed and latched, confirmed by the real-time downlinked telemetry. Tomorrow, Aug 17th, the Flight
Operations Team plans to deploy the boom.
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - Today, the
first deployment stage of the Aquarius 2.5m x 3.0m parabolic antenna reflector was completed at 1435 UT. The
separation hardware released the reflector portion from its previously stowed position (since before launch). The
deployment took place over the Arctic with coverage from Svalbard and Alaska tracking stations.
shows the satellite's roll angle change about 0.5
degree during the deployment. This small roll was expected as the satellite responded with the change in angular momentum while the
reflector was in motion. Telemetry from the contact switches verified that the reflector was then successfully latched.
was a critical step. Tomorrow, 17 August, a similar procedure will release the boom restraint and allow the boom and reflector
combination to rotate and latch into the proper alignment. We expect to see a larger roll response to this maneuver.
the antenna is fully deployed, we will begin the final steps prior to powering-on the sensors. The remainder of the week will include
turning-on the thermal control system and uploading software patches. We plan to turn on the radiometers on Sunday, 20 August.
- Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] The Radiometer Digital Processing Unit (DPU) was turned on today and DPU telemetry
was nominal. During the next few passes, the Op Heaters for the Upper Deployment Mechanism (UDM) and Lower Deployment Mechanism
(LDM) were turned on to prepare for the reflector deployment on August 16 and boom deployment on August 17. The technical team in
Cordoba, Argentina will go through the sequences to power-on Aquarius and start collecting the first data on Sunday, August 21
(Radiometer on) followed by the turn-on sequence for the Scatterometer (22-27 Aug).
] AQUARIUS PI DAILY UPDATE DURING THE AQUARIUS COMMISSIONING - I am writing from the
CONAE ground station in Cordoba, Argentina, during the commissioning of the Aquarius instrument on the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite. For the
next two weeks the technical team here will go through the sequences to power-on the instrument and start collecting the first-look data.
I will endeavor to send out an update on a daily basis, but no promises….
Yesterday, we powered on the Instrument Control
and Data System (ICDS), the Aquarius on-board computer. Everything looks good so far.
Today we are executing commands to
start the pre-deployment heaters, in preparation for the antenna deployment. This will be in two stages: the reflector (upper deployment
mechanism, UDM) on Tuesday, followed by the boom (lower deployment mechanism, LDM) and Wednesday.
Here is the plan for the
next several weeks. Things may change depending whether we encounter any issues. So far, things have been going smoothly yesterday
and today. In a large part, this is a credit to how well organized and prepared our instrument engineering team is.
- Sun 14 Aug: ICDS power on - Complete
- Mon 15 Aug: Pre-deployment heaters power on - Complete
- Tue 16 Aug: Reflector deployment, between 1430 and 1500 Universal Time (UT)
- Wed 17 Aug: Boom deployment
- Thu 18 Aug: Radiometer digital processing unit (DPU) power on
- Fri 19 Aug: Active thermal control system (ATC) power on
- Sat 20 Aug: Software patches upload
- Sun 21 Aug: Radiometer RF on *** First Data
- 22 Aug – 27 Aug: Scatterometer turn on sequence (more details later)
- 28 Aug – 29 Aug: Mission mode & contingency day
- 30 Aug – 10 Sep: SACD instrument commissioning
- 11 Sep – 04 Oct: Final orbit adjustments
You can see where Aquarius/SAC-D is on orbit at this link
- Gary Lagerloef, Aquarius Principal Investigator
] The Aquarius Instrument Control and Data System (ICDS) turned on at 13:32 UTC, as expected, on
August 14 over Svalbard (island halfway between Norway and the North Pole). Tomorrow, the Digital Processing Unit (DPU) will be turned on followed
by the Op Heaters in preparation for the deployment. Deployment of the Aquarius reflector is scheduled for August 16th and boom on August 17th.
] Over the last few days the Aquarius team and the Flight Operations Team (FOT) completed planning and
preparing for the Aquarius and FOT prerequisites required to begin Aquarius commissioning. Close out of the FOT-related prerequisites was
successfully completed and the Aquarius Commissioning Readiness Review was held today. As a result, a "GO" was given to uplink commands to
the spacecraft for turn-on of the Aquarius Instrument Control and Data System (ICDS) on Sunday August 14, 2011. Contingency passes have also
been planned for this activity.
] Last week, the Flight Operations Team (FOT) focused their effort on initial orbit maneuvers. As
of August 9th, the observatory is at the desired orbit. In Cordoba, Argentina, the Aquarius team established prerequisites prior to the start
of Aquarius commissioning. There will be a final orbit maneuver after Aquarius and all SAC-D instruments are commissioned.
] The SAC-D observatory is in the process of on-orbit checkout prior to turning on the instruments.
The spacecraft is healthy and the telemetry looks good. Some delays have occurred with testing the attitude control system parameters.
Turning on all of the Aquarius/SAC-D instruments is now likely to begin in mid-August and will take about one month.
] Aquarius/SAC-D rocketed into space at 7:20:13 AM PDT. Less than 57 minutes later it
separated from the rocket's second stage and began communicating with ground controllers and unfurling its solar arrays.
] NASA'S "AGE OF AQUARIUS" DAWNS WITH LAUNCH FROM CALIFORNIA
WASHINGTON -- NASA's 'Age of Aquarius' dawned Friday with the launch of an international satellite carrying the agency-built
Aquarius instrument that will measure the saltiness of Earth's oceans to advance our understanding of the global water cycle
and improve climate forecasts. more
] Launch coverage
will begin today at 5:30am PDT (8:30am EDT).
] NASA's Launch Blog
] Status update
] PASADENA, Calif. -- The launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D mission is postponed 24
hours until Friday, June 10, from NASA's Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 5-minute launch window opens at 7:20 a.m.
PDT (10:20 a.m. EDT) More
] This week, a number of significant milestones were achieved at Vandenberg
Air Force Base in preparation for launch. The final pre-launch electrical test of the Aquarius instrument was performed on
24-May. The test was successfully completed and all telemetry was nominal. On 27-May, the feed covers were removed from the
instrument and a final contamination-control inspection was performed to confirm that the Aquarius instrument meets all of
its cleanliness requirements; with these feed covers removed, Aquarius is configured for launch. On 28-May, the fairing
was installed around the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory (see photos #15 and #16
] The canister containing the Aquarius/SAC-D Observatory is lifted to top of
the launch tower at Space Launch Complex-2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
(see photos #10 through #14
] The Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) has been attached and mated to the Payload Attach
Fitting (PAF), which is launch-vehicle hardware. On Friday and Saturday, the Observatory bag was installed in preparation for
transportation to the launch pad (see photos #5 through #7
prior to final bag close-out around
the LVA). The ground-handling can was then installed onto the S/C and the canned S/C was transferred to the trailer
(photos #8 and #9)
] Less than two months before launch, team members conduct their final checks of the
Aquarius instrument at the Spaceport Systems International Integrated Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Subsequent
final instrument tests will be conducted on the launch pad.
] The Aquarius/SAC-D payload arrived safely at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) at 4:18 PM PDT
aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane. The spacecraft is in the Spaceport Systems International payload processing facility at VAFB.
Following final tests, the spacecraft will be integrated to a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket in preparation for the targeted June
launch to low Earth orbit. See images at the Kennedy Media Gallery.
] After overnight crew rest, the second C-17 flight
with the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory left San Juan, Puerto Rico at 11:36AM local time on its way to the launch processing facility
and launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California. The plane is expected to land today at VAFB around 4:30pm PDT.
] The US Air Force C-17 carrying the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory departed from Brazil
today at 11:57AM local time. There will be about a 7-hour flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico for an overnight stop, then on to
Vandenberg Air Force Base (Calif.) tomorrow.
- This morning the C-17 on-load began at about 8:20 am, and was completed at 10:10.
- The C-17 flight took off at 11:30 am local from Sao Jose, headed for San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- The flight landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 5:45 pm local.
- Loading of the second shipment onto the trucks was completed this afternoon.
- The container containing the Observatory has been loaded on the transport truck and remains secured inside the airlock at INPE-LIT.
- The team rests tomorrow (no work planned).
- Second flight expected to arrive at 10:30 pm local tomorrow (27 Mar).
- On-load for the 2nd flight is expected at 8:00 am on Monday (28 Mar), but this will be updated after the arrival of the second flight tomorrow evening (27 Mar).
] The first C-17 Plane
is already in Sao Jose dos Campos. It arrived
at 09h45 today and will be loaded with support equipment. Tomorrow, March 26, a convoy will leave INPE at 05h00, and loading will start at 06h00 and
end at about 10h00. The plane will leave at 11h00 for California with a lay-over in Puerto Rico. The cover of the shipping container was lowered over
the satellite and clamped down. It is now all boxed-up. The next transport plane arrives later this weekend and will ferry the satellite to Vandenberg, leaving here
the 29th and arriving there the next day.
] Palette loading
of the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) has
been completed. The GSE will leave Brazil on a C-17 on March 26th and arrive at Vandenberg Air Force Base (Calif.) on March 27th. In addition, the
Aquarius/SAC-D Observatory has been lifted into its shipping container, destined for Vandenberg Air Force Base next week.
] The First Stage with Solid Motors, Interstage, and Second Stage for the Aquarius/SAC-D
launch vehicle have been erected at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB). The Aquarius/SAC-D observatory will leave Brazil on two C-17
flights, arriving at VAFB on March 27th and 30th in preparation for launch on June 9th.
] The Aquarius/SAC-D Pre Ship Review was successfully completed at Brazil's National Institute for
Space Research in early March 2011. Air transport of the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory from Brazil to Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) is scheduled
for Mar 26th and 29th. The first stage of the Delta II rocket that will carry NASA's Aquarius instrument into low Earth orbit has been raised onto
its launch pad at VAFB Space Launch Complex-2. The nominal launch date for Aquarius/SAC-D is June 9th, 2011.
]Aquarius MLI activities and post-t-vac cleaning/inspection tasks have been successfully
completed. All blankets planned for close-out at this time have been completed and inspected. All external MLI surfaces of the Observatory
were cleaned, and white-light inspection showed no visible debris, thus meeting the VC-HS (visibly clean, highly sensitive) requirement.
Molecular and particulate surface samples were collected after the cleaning/inspection for analysis.
] MLI activities continue: the reflector and sunshade blankets were completed. All
thermal instrumentation has been removed as planned; the OMT test heaters will be grounded to the instrument. The flight grounding
of all blankets has been installed and verified, with the exception of about a half-dozen blankets that will be closed out later.
] MLI activities continue: the +/-X spacecraft bipods and the structure have been completed,
and the mechanical close-out of the sunshade was finalized. The reflector MLI and the OMT covers are in work today. View our incredible
pit crew in action around the instrument here
] The Aquarius team started on the MLI activities that will continue all week. Specifically,
general cleaning and inspection are being done to address the fall-out observed after the thermal-vac test. The thermal instrumentation
(thermocouples and test heaters) will be removed, MLI grounding is being verified, and final lacing and close-out of the MLI is being
performed. The Upper Deployment Mechanism (UDM), Lower Deployment Mechanism (LDM), Launch Restraint bipod/tripod, the feeds and
the -Z spacecraft bipod were completed. The activities are proceeding nominally.
] INVAP has completed the S/P closed-loop AOCS test and the ACE special test. They
demated the cabling to the spacecraft and rotated it to the horizontal position. The Aquarius EGSE cables were demated. To recover
the schedule, the Aquarius team will be performing the cleaning and starting blanket activities on January 16th.
] The Aquarius LPT was performed. All results were nominal.
] NASA provides more detail
on the transfer of the Aquarius instrument and the Argentinian spacecraft that will carry it into space, the Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas
(SAC-D), into the thermal vacuum chamber at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Laboratório de Integração e Testes – Instituto Nacional de
Pesquisas Espaciais, or LIT-INPE) on Nov. 15.
] The Aquarius/SAC-D observatory has been moved into the thermal-vacuum chamber
(6 meters by 8 meters) at
Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Laboratório de Integração e Testes - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais,
LIT-INPE). Over the course of a few days, ground support equipment will be hooked up and the chamber door will be closed in preparation for
Aquarius/SAC-D thermal-vacuum tests.
] The Aquarius launch date has been updated to June 9, 2011. More details are available at
] During the external points measurement today, the covers were removed from the solar panels, giving a
very good view
of the Observatory.
] A good deploy on the first panel!
Movie (mp4, 5.5 MB)
] The +X Solar Panel was successfully mounted on the SAC-D Service Platform yesterday on schedule.
Deployment testing of this panel will take place today. Image 1
| Image 2
] The rest of the Ground Support Equipment for testing the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory landed
safely at 12:40 pm local Brazilian time. The cargo was safely and successfully transferred to the integration and testing laboratory at
INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais). This marks the start of the Brazil Environmental Test Campaign for Aquarius/SAC-D.
] The satellite convey has successfully transferred the observatory to the INPE/LIT facility. A second
C-17 flight with the remaining pallets and ground support equipment is scheduled to arrive in Sáo José dos Campos, Brazil at noon tomorrow.
] Over the past few days, the Aquarius/SAC-D Observatory was packed into its shipping container, moved from INVAP to the Bariloche airport, and
then loaded onto a USAF C-17. The aircraft left Bariloche today and has now arrived in Sáo José dos Campos, Brazil. They are in
the process of unloading the aircraft and transporting the Observatory to INPE/LIT.
] After months of integration and testing at the INVAP facility (Bariloche, Argentina),
Aquarius/SAC-D has been boxed for shipment to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, INPE)
Integration and Testing Lab, located in Sáo José dos Campos (near Sáo Paulo). At INPE, the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory will
undergo its final environmental testing before being shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for an April 2011 launch date.
] We completed the thermal blanket patterns for the Aquarius bipod after routing the flight harness from the SAC-D Service Platform (S/P) to Aquarius (see photo, below left). A "fit check" of half the sunshade was completed to verify the clearance of the Aquarius ground lug as well as the blanket interface with the S/P top deck (see photo, below right). Engineers also verified the grounding resistance between the S/P top deck (near ground strap lug) to the Aquarius Instrument Connector Bracket (AICB), and it met the requirement with margin. The Aquarius Electrical Ground Support Equipment (all the non-flight test equipment we used to connect to Instrument to power and communicate) cables were installed and secured in preparation for Observatory functional testing next week.
] On Monday, April 12, the installation of the Aquarius Instrument onto the SAC-D Service Platform (S/P) was successfully completed by the JPL and INVAP integration teams. The photos (below) show Pim Vosse directing the final stages of the lift, as well as an overall view of the Observatory (note that in this picture, the non-flight lift fixture is still in place on Aquarius). The Aquarius mechanical integration continues today, with the routing and mating of the flight harness to Aquarius, followed by thermal-blanket patterning on Wednesday.
] All Aquarius electrical interfaces have successfully been connected to the SAC-D Service Platform (S/P). The S/P has now replaced the Aquarius Electrical Ground Support Equipment -- i.e., all the non-flight test equipment that was used to connect to Instrument to power and communicate -- for the operation of the instrument. Thus Aquarius is now receiving power and commands from the S/P and Aquarius telemetry and hi-rate data are being returned via the S/P. Telemetry and data files downlinked by the S/P match the files collected from an Aquarius direct-access test port, verifying the data flow from the instrument through the S/P. These successful tests represent significant milestones in the Aquarius Electrical Integration process.
] The Aquarius power interfaces and Service Platform (SP) monitored Aquarius temperature sensors were connected to the SP. An abbreviated Aquarius Limited Performance Test (LPT) was also executed. In the LPT, the Aquarius subsystems were powered up, including all radiometer strings and the scatterometer, and all subsystems were nominal.
] On Wednesday, January 20, Dr. Cristina Fernández Kirchner, the President of Argentina, visited INVAP for the inauguration of the new facilities. The visit included a tour of the Hi Bay where the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite is being tested and integrated. La Presidenta was highly interested in the Aquarius/SAC-D mission, asked a number of questions, and was pleased with NASA's attendance at the event. Click here
to learn more about INVAP. Read an article about Presidenta Cristina Fernández Kirchner's visit here
] International Science Teams Selected for Aquarius/SAC-D Mission
NASA and Argentina's Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE), with support from the Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology
and Innovative Production (MinCyT), have selected additional members of the international scientific investigating team for the Aquarius/Satélite de
Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D mission, scheduled to launch in 2010.
] The Aquarius/SAC-D satellite mission will convene the 5th Science Meeting 21-23 October 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina. This event will meet the International Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team, selected through the NASA and CONAE-MinCyT Joint Selection Process (more
] The Aquarius instrument is prepped
for June 1st shipment to Argentina
] The 5th Aquarius/SAC-D Science Meeting
will be held in Buenos Aires on 21-23 October 2009
] Air-ship of Aquarius instrument to Argentina is set for 01 June 2009
The 4th Aquarius/SAC-D Science Workshop was held in Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina on 3-5 December 2008. Sessions addressed calibration and validation and explored a range of scientific studies and practical applications, such as the global hydrological cycle, ocean circulation, climate variability, oceanic CO2 flux, land processes, land use, soil moisture, natural hazards, cryosphere, operational forecasting, among many others. This conference was held in honor of the late Dr. F. Raul Colomb, Principal Investigator for the CONAE SAC-C and SAC-D Missions. (Click here to learn more
] Aquarius "Pre-ship" review meeting
] Air-ship dry run with empty Aquarius instrument shipping container on USAF C17 (see image
] Pre-ship electrical testing of Aquarius instrument after the "Random Vibe Test" at JPL (see image
] Aquarius instrument undergoes "Random Vibe Test" at JPL (see image
] Aquarius Instrument Thermal Vacuum (TVAC-2) & First Motion Test at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (see image
] Aquarius Instrument Acoustics Testing at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (see image
] Aquarius Instrument Vibration Testing at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (see image
] Aquarius Principal Investigator Dr. Gary Lagerloef convened an American Geophysical Union Special Session Special Joint Session: "Climatic Variability in the Marine Freshwater Cycle"
] The 4th Aquarius/SAC-D Science Workshop was held in Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina on 3-5 December 2008. Sessions addressed calibration and validation and explored a range of scientific studies and practical applications, such as the global hydrological cycle, ocean circulation, climate variability, oceanic CO2 flux, land processes, land use, soil moisture, natural hazards, cryosphere, operational forecasting, among many others. This conference was held in honor of the late Dr. F. Raul Colomb, Principal Investigator for the CONAE SAC-C and SAC-D Missions. (Click here to learn more
] Aquarius Boom & Reflector Integration at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (see image
] Aquarius/SAC-D Observatory passed its Mission Critical Design Review, held 21-24 July 2008 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
] Dr. Sandra Torrusio has been named the new SAC-D Principal Investigator. Dr. Torrusio has specialized in remote sensing applications to natural resources and disaster management since 1989. She is the author of over 40 publications and presentations in national and international meetings, and a participant in international courses. Dr. Torrusio received her Ph.D. in Natural Sciences at the National University of La Plata in 2003.
] NASA's Research Announcement for the Ocean Salinity Science Team has been released. The objective of this program element is to select a new U.S. Ocean Salinity Science Team to support and participate in the U.S./CONAE Aquarius/SAC-D mission and joint Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team. Solicitation closes on 30-Oct-08. (Click here to learn more
] After a four-year development effort, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has delivered the Aquarius Radiometer to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL) in Pasadena, California. The Radiometer, built by an in-house team of scientists, engineers, and technicians at GSFC is part of the international Aquarius/SAC-D mission. The Radiometer will be integrated with the Aquarius instrument at JPL. (Click here to learn more