The end of the Indian OSCAT measurements (April 10, 2014)

oceansat-2_img

OceanSat-2 image courtesy ISRO

April 10, 2014

The PO.DAAC regrets to inform its users of the discontinuation of data retrieval for its OSCAT Level 2B dataset produced by the QuikSCAT science data systems team at JPL.

The OSCAT scatterometer onboard the Oceansat-2 spacecraft experienced failure in its traveling wave tube amplifier (TWTA) toward the end of February 2014. As a result, science data processing of ocean surface wind vector data has permanently ceased. The last available file from the QuikSCAT science data systems team provided to the PO.DAAC is effective for 20 February 2014 corresponding to orbital revolution 23370 ending at 2330 UTC. The data retrieved over the course of the mission will remain available at the PO.DAAC for continued public distribution.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was responsible for the design, launch and operation of the OSCAT instrument and the Oceansat-2 spacecraft. This announcement comes just before the completion of OSCAT’s five year anniversary.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: podaac@podaac.jpl.nasa.gov

Since one of the purposes of the proposed scatterometer on the International Space Station, the ISS-RapidScat, was to calibrate OSCAT, this failure may place the ISS mission in jeopardy. But note that five years is a good run for a space instrument. This leaves the wind measurements from the European METOP-A and METOP-B scatterometers, and passive measurements from the Coriolis WindSat instrument as the source of global wind measurements

 

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About Seelye Martin

Seelye Martin received his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Johns Hopkins University in 1967 then spent two years as a research associate in the Department of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1969 he took up a position in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington where he is now an Emeritus Professor. Beginning in 1987, he taught courses on remote sensing of the oceans. Professor Martin has been involved with passive microwave, visible/infrared and radar ice research since 1979, and has served on a number of NASA and NOAA committees and panels involving remote sensing and high latitude processes. He has made many trips to the Arctic for research on sea ice properties and oceanography. From 2006-2008, he worked at NASA Headquarters as Program Manager for the Cryosphere, where he also served as program scientist for the ICESat-1 and ICESat-2 missions. After leaving Headquarters, from 2009 -2012, he worked in a variety of roles for the NASA high-latitude IceBridge remote sensing aircraft program. For this work, in 2012 he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal.
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