AQUA is a US polar orbiting satellite for earth observation, focusing espcially on the water cycle. It embed six sensors, two of them of major interest for the oceanographic community :the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E), a microwave radiometer with the unique ability to provide sea surface temperature data through cloud coverage (if no rain contamination), and the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) which provides high resolution sea surface temperature and ocean color observations.

 Usage of AQUA at CERSAT 1

AQUA AMSR-E data are used by CERSAT to compute the ODYSSEA gap-free sea surface temperature fields (thanks to the ability of AMSR-E to deliver SST observations over cloudy areas) and sea-ice drift maps. The MODIS reflectance data are also processed at CERSAT to compute ocean color products tailored to European coastal areas.

Additional Info

  • mission: AQUA
  • Agency: NASA
  • orbit: polar, sun-synchronous
  • launch date: Saturday, 04 May 2002
  • status: operational