Open Water Scientific Research - Measuring Ocean Salinity

Open Water Scientific Research – Measuring Ocean Salinity

The European Space Agency, in cooperation with Indra, a Madrid-based company, launched a satellite that measures ocean salinity last November. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity measuring system took ten years to develop and icludes hardware and software on ground stations and in data processing centers that receives data from the satellite.

The satellite receives and extracts signals that are produced by changes in ocean salinity through high-frequency radio-frequency microwave senses from great distances.

The result was a global map of ocean salinity that is relevant for climate change research because changes in the concentrations of salt in the oceans drive the currents that help regulate the globe’s climate.

Animations of the satellite in action are here and here. How the satellite measures sea ice is here and a video explanation are here.

Photo is courtesy by the European Space Agency. Animations and videos are courtesy of the European Space Agency’s AOES Medialab.

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