International Space Station RapidScat (ISS-RapidScat) is in orbit and working!


On September 21, ISS-RapidScat was launched into space  on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, and it was unpacked and assembled with the space station’s robotic arm on September 29–30. On October 1, it was powered up to start several weeks of calibration and checkout activities. Using uncalibrated data, here is an image of  hurricane Simon, taken at 7:10 p.m. local time on October 3, 2014.  Continue reading

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Global Mean Sea Level Rise as of August 2014

Global sea level rise through August 2014.

Global sea level rise through August 2014. The linear trend continues at about 3 mm/year. The figure is courtesy PO.DAAC, and is credited Beckley et al., 2010.

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ISS-RapidScat on track for September launch to International Space Station

ISS-RapidScat-View-Earth-Web-640(Visualization of the ISS-RapidScat instrument on the ISS; inset shows the instrument.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Johnson Space Center)

NASA’s ISS-RapidScat, a new Earth-observing instrument that will measure ocean winds while mounted on the International Space Station (ISS), is go for launch — almost. On May 12, 2014, the instrument arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from its birthplace at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and will undergo final launch preparations in the coming weeks. Continue reading

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New CryoSat-2 processing service (reposted from Cryolist)

Dear Colleagues,
CryoSat-2 data products users are informed that, since 10 june 2014, a new CryoSat-2 processing service is active on the G-POD platform ( 
This service, called SARvatore – SAR Versatile Altimetric Toolkit for Ocean Research & Exploitation -, provides to CryoSat users worldwide the capability of processing on demand and on line the CryoSat-2 SAR FBR data, with many processing options to select from, and post the output SAR L2 geophysical data products in NetCDF format.
In order to experiment with SARvatore (on the open ocean, test it near the coast, over estuaries, rivers, lakes, near sea-ice, anywhere until the (quite robust) SAMOSA (ocean) model breaks down!),  please register for an EO-SSO user account ( and then contact G-POD team (at ) to request that they activate the service for you.
More information is available here:
Looking forward to your feedback. 
Best regards,
Salvatore Dinardo, Bruno Manuel Lucas and Jérôme Benveniste
ESA-Esrin ( )

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Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2 or Daichi-2) successfully launched on May 24


This L-band SAR is the upgrade to the ALOS PALSAR. Unlike PALSAR, PALSAR-2 can look to either the right or left of the flight path, and to a distance of 870 km to 2,320 km from the ground track.  The project manager, Shinichi Suzuki, stresses the role of SAR data in understanding the consequences of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and states that the cooperative international framework for sharing SAR data was important in understanding the results of the earthquake. On May 27, JAXA confirmed that the satellite was operating properly, so that the critical operation phase was complete. They then shifted to the regular operation mode.  Further information is available at the JAXA ALOS-2 website.

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151 Flavors of Sea Surface Temperature (SST)

Monthly average GHRSST image

Monthly average GHRSST image

The Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) at JPL currently has 151 different types of Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSTT). These are archived and downloadable here.  When I turned in the book in September, there were only 62 different varieties of GHRSST. As examination of the PO.DAAC website shows, these different varieties can be used for long term climate studies, high resolution short term upwelling studies, and for data from the geostationary satellites, which would be regionally specific studies in the satellite field-of-view.

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


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.
Continue reading

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