Aquarius Official Release Level 3 Sea Surface Salinity Standard Mapped Image Descending Monthly Data V5.0
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DescriptionAquarius Level 3 sea surface salinity (SSS) standard mapped image data contains gridded 1 degree spatial resolution SSS averaged over daily, 7 day, monthly, and seasonal time scales. This particular data set is the Monthly, Descending sea surface salinity product for version 5.0 of the Aquarius data set, which is the official end of mission public data release from the AQUARIUS/SAC-D mission. Only retrieved values for Descending passes have been used to create this product. The Aquarius instrument is onboard the AQUARIUS/SAC-D satellite, a collaborative effort between NASA and the Argentinian Space Agency Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE). The instrument consists of three radiometers in push broom alignment at incidence angles of 29, 38, and 46 degrees incidence angles relative to the shadow side of the orbit. Footprints for the beams are: 76 km (along-track) x 94 km (cross-track), 84 km x 120 km and 96km x 156 km, yielding a total cross-track swath of 370 km. The radiometers measure brightness temperature at 1.413 GHz in their respective horizontal and vertical polarizations (TH and TV). A scatterometer operating at 1.26 GHz measures ocean backscatter in each footprint that is used for surface roughness corrections in the estimation of salinity. The scatterometer has an approximate 390km swath.
Dataset TypeOPEN
Processing Level3
CoverageRegion: Global
Northernmost Latitude: 90 degrees
Southernmost Latitude: -90 degrees
Westernmost Longitude: -180 degrees
Easternmost Longitude: 180 degrees
Time Span: 2011-Aug-25 to 2015-Jun-07
Granule Time Span: 2011-Aug-25 to 2015-Jun-07
ResolutionSpatial Resolution: 1 degrees (Latitude) x 1 degrees (Longitude)
Temporal Resolution: 1 Month
ProjectionType: Gridded
Ellipsoid: WGS 84
Latency720 hours
Name: Aquarius SAC-D (Aquarius_SAC-D)
Orbit Period: 98 minutes
Inclination Angle: 98 degrees
Ascending Node: 1970-Jan-01 00:00:00
Name: Aquarius Radiometer (AQUARIUS_RADIOMETER)
Swath Width: 390 km
Description: Launched in 2011 the 3 Aquarius radiometers meet very exacting requirements for low noise and calibration stability. This makes them about an order of magnitude more accurate than any radiometer ever used before for remote sensing of the earth. Aquarius measures in the microwave range at 1.413 GHz (+/- 25MHz).

Name: Aquarius SAC-D (Aquarius_SAC-D)
Orbit Period: 98 minutes
Inclination Angle: 98 degrees
Ascending Node: 1970-Jan-01 00:00:00
Name: Aquarius Scatterometer (AQUARIUS_SCATTEROMETER)
Swath Width: 390 km
Description: The Aquarius scatterometer is a total-power L-band (1.26 GHz)radar system for estimating ocean surface roughness. Itsmeasurements will enable the removal of wind effects from theAquarius radiometer ocean-surface brightness temperaturemeasurements being used to retrieve ocean salinity. TheAquarius scatterometer is a relatively simple, low-spatialresolution power-detecting radar, without ranging capability.But to meet its science requirement, it must be very stable, withrepeatability on the order of 0.1 dB over several days, andcalibrated accuracy to this level over several months. Datafrom this instrument over land as well as ocean areas will beavailable for a variety of geophysical applications.

Data ProviderCreator: NASA Aquarius project
Release Place: Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd.; Greeenbelt, MD., 20771, USA
Release Date: 2017-Dec-07
Keyword(s)Aquarius, salinity, polar, sun-synchronous, sss, psu, CONAE, argentina, project, mission, OBPG
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User's Guide
User's Guide
Aquarius Data User's Guide
Project Materials
Aquarius v5.0 Documentation Package
ATBD, Validation Analysis, Product Specifications, etc
Additional Sites
Aquarius/SAC-D Mission Website
NASA Aquarius/SAC-D mission website
PO.DAAC Aquarius/SAC-D Mission page
Mission and Instrument Overview
Known Issues
Aquarius/SAC-D Event Log
Information on observatory maneuvers, anomalies and other events
Citation NASA Aquarius project. 2017. Aquarius Official Release Level 3 Sea Surface Salinity Standard Mapped Image Descending Monthly Data V5.0. Ver. 5.0. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at

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For more information see Data Citations and Acknowledgments.

Journal Reference Lee, T., G. Lagerloef, M.M. Gierach, H.-Y. Kao, S. Yueh, and K. Dohan (2012), Aquarius reveals salinity structure of tropical instability waves, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L12610, doi:10.1029/2012GL052232.