Special Session Descriptions


Theme:  Science Assessment for Aquarius End of Prime Mission (EOPM)

Special [Working Group] sessions (Oral and Poster)
Authors may contact session chairs for more information.

Each of the working group sessions will be tasked to produce specific conclusions and recommendations.

  1. Key Science Results of the Aquarius Prime Salinity Mission
    Chair:  Tony Lee <tlee@jpl.nasa.gov>

This session will highlight recent scientific results based on (1) applications of Aquarius data to study to structure and variability of sea surface salinity and their relationships with ocean circulation, climate variability, and the water cycle; (2) utility of Aquarius data to improve models, ocean state estimations, seasonal-interannual prediction, and operational ocean forecast; and (3) demonstration of the synergy of Aquarius measurements with other satellite and in-situ observations to address the above topics.   Output:  List of key science results and preliminary ranking.

  1. Aquarius instrument and algorithm cal/val (verification of the 0.2 psu requirement; recommendation for final EOPM reprocessing/archive) Chair: Shannon Brown <Shannon.T.Brown@jpl.nasa.gov>
    ** May be combined with Session 5, RFI

This session will highlight calibration and validation studies of the Aquarius radiometer and scatterometer and the algorithms required to convert instrument outputs to salinity.  A particular focus will be on understanding spatial and temporal errors in the Aquarius salinity product relative to the 0.2 psu mission requirement.  It is important to identify these errors, but equally as important to trace these errors to their cause and offer suitable calibration or algorithm adjustments.  Presentations on drift correction approaches, particularly those that relinquish dependence on an ocean model, are sought.  Also, presentations are sought on the impact of RFI, improvements to geophysical corrections such as the galaxy and surface roughness corrections and improved understanding of the sea water dielectric model.  Presentations are also sought on the end-to-end absolute calibration of both the radiometer and scatterometer.  It is anticipated that results from this session will form the basis for the improvements made in the end-of-prime-mission Aquarius product.

  1. SPURS working group
    Chairs:  Julian Schanze, <jschanze@esr.org>
    Fred Bingham <<bigkahuna@fredbingham.com>

This session will highlight the activities of the working group on Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS, http://spurs.jpl.nasa.gov/), including main scientific results and lessons learned from SPURS-1, the planning effort and strategy for SPURS-2, and the synergy with the Aquarius/SAC-D mission.

  1. L-band Inter-calibration working group
    Chair:  David M.  LeVine <David.M.LeVine@nasa.gov>
    ** May be combined with Session 5, RFI.

This working group addresses inter-comparison (calibration) of the three L-band radiometers, SMOS, Aquarius and SMAP soon to be in orbit.  The goal is to lay the ground work to permit merged, validated data sets.  Papers on inter-comparison, techniques and reference sites are welcome.

  1. Radio Frequency Interference RFI
    David M.  LeVine <David.M.LeVine@nasa.gov>
    ** May be combined with sessions 2 or 4.

The Aquarius RFI filter algorithm removes “detectable” RFI spikes during the Level-2 processing algorithm.  However, it is now apparent that the filter passes some undetectable RFI that is adds bias to regional brightness temperatures asymmetrically between ascending and descending passes, depending on the antenna orientation toward or away from likely sources.   This working group solicits papers and discussion topics on RFI including the Aquarius algorithm, impacts of missed detection, global distribution and comparison with SMOS.  Output:  Summary of key technical issues; preliminary R&D plan to resolve detection/correction algorithm.

  1. Aquarius product evaluation, bias corrections, gridding and mapping
    Chairs:  Hsun-Ying Kao <hkao@esr.org>, Oleg Melnichenko <oleg@hawaii.edu>, Peter W. Hacker <phacker@hawaii.edu>

The Aquarius/SAC-D satellite is designed to repeat the measurement of
fine-scale sea surface salinity (SSS) globally with a 7-day cycle. The
resolutions of the footprint for the three beams are 76×94 km, 84×120 km
and 96×156 km. This session will focus on the gridding methodology with
different spatial (e.g. 1 degree, 1/3 degree) and temporal (daily, weekly
to monthly) resolutions. The goals of this session are: to present current and new gridding algorithms for Aquarius salinity; to discuss how to avoid spurious structures such as the stripped pattern caused by the inter-beam biases, to quantify space/time ascending/descending and interbeam biases with respect to in situ data, and to quantify errors in the gridded products. We welcome presentations for the SSS gridding using Aquarius data alone (L3) or combined with in
situ/model data (L4), and Development of Aquarius 3-year SSS climatology.

  1. SAC-D sensors and science results
    Chairs: Sandra Torrusio <storrusio@conae.gov.ar>
    Monica Rabolli <mrabolli@conae.gov.ar>

This session is devoted to the following topics: (1) SAC-D Instruments Status: overview of the MWR, NIRST, HSC, DCS, CARMEN 1 and ROSA instruments. (2) Cal/Val processes: mainly devoted to develop ítems related to NIRST relative and absolute in fly calibration and MWR in fly calibration. (3) Application and products access: webpage availability of MWR, NIRST, CARMEN 1 data and products; examples of uses and applications of SAC-D sensors. (4) Advances / Results of  Argentinian AO projects: results related to topics as Soil moisture estimated with Aquarius data, Monitoring floods combining systems, Ocean dynamics studies using Aquarius and in situ data, among other topics.

  1. Planning the NASA Senior Review proposal
    Chairs: Gary Lagerloef <Lager@esr.org>
    Gene Feldman <gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov>

The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) conducts reviews of operating missions to maximize the scientific return from these missions within finite resources. The Senior Review, held every two years, assists NASA in maximizing the scientific productivity from its Operating Missions within a constrained budget. NASA uses the findings from the Senior Review to define an implementation strategy and give programmatic direction to the missions and projects concerned through the next four fiscal years.  The Aquarius/SAC-D mission will reach the end of the its three year prime mission on 1 December 2014 and is required to participate in the next Senior Review that will be conducted during the Spring/Summer of 2015.  NASA’s evaluation is driven primarily by the SCIENCE that the mission has enabled and will likely enable during an extended mission.  In particular, assessments will be required of the scientific merit of the mission data sets, based on their intrinsic value in research investigations by the community, relevance to NASA’s science goals, and data product maturity.  Additionally, factors such as quality trends of the data products, the value of long term data records and overall data continuity, and projected quality based on continuing mission performance, including any degradation of sensor or platform will be reviewed.  A number of other factors, such as the operational behavior and status and expected life of the instrument and spacecraft and mission operations plans for health, safety and data collection, processing and distribution will also play a role in the evaluation.   A Senior Review proposal to provide this information must be developed and delivered by the Aquarius Project and Aquarius Science Team in March 2015 and the purpose of this session will be to begin the organization for and the formulation of this proposal.   Outputs:  Preliminary outline; writing assignments.

  1. Communications and Operational Applications
    Chairs: Annette  deCharon <annette.decharon@maine.edu>
    Monica Rabolli <mrabolli@conae.gov.ar>

This session welcomes presentations that highlight how Aquarius/SAC-D science, technology and engineering have been disseminated through education and outreach activities. The goal is to share effective practices and “lessons learned” from interactions with various audiences. For example, communication with the public though in-person or online events, engagement with pre-college classrooms, integration of Mission data/findings into undergraduate curricula, and training of practicing scientists such as graduate students and post-docs. The session also encourages presentations for focusing on practical applications, distribution of Aquarius//SAC-D data and related tools and services.

  1. Satellite & In Situ Salinity (SISS) Working Group
    Chairs:  Yi Chao <ychao@remotesensingsolutions.com>
    Tony Lee <tlee@jpl.nasa.gov>

This session focuses on results related to the topics of the Satellite and In-situ Salinity Working Group (SISS, http://siss.locean-ipsl.upmc.fr/). These include: (1) salinity stratification in the upper 10 m of the ocean and its relationships with atmospheric forcing (including wind and rain); (2) SSS variability within Aquarius’ footprint (50-150 km); (3) experimental/numerical investigations targeting the physical processes related to (1) and (2).

  1. General Category
    (Program Committee)
    This category is for abstracts that authors do not find place for in the above list of sessions.    The program committee will assign the abstract accordingly.