Flight Projects

Ocean Ecology supports a number of active and legacy biological and physical oceanography missions. Staff have end-to-end responsibility for ocean color products derived from the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS), Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS), and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), including calibration, validation, processing algorithms, and data distribution. The team also produces and distributes the Sea Surface Temperature products from MODIS, and houses the Mission Operations, processing, and distribution for the upcoming Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity mission. In addition, the team maintains collaborations with international missions to share expertise and promote consistency of common satellite data products.

NASA Ocean Color Missions

NASA Sea Surface Temperature Missions

NASA Sea Surface Salinity Missions

Active International Collaborations


Aquarius icon.Aquarius is a focused satellite mission to measure global Sea Surface Salinity (SSS). Scientific progress is limited because conventional in situ SSS sampling is too sparse to give the global view of salinity variability that only a satellite can provide. Aquarius will resolve missing physical processes that link the water cycle, the climate, and the ocean.

+ Visit the Aquarius web site

SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor)

SeaWiFS icon.The purpose of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS; 1997-2010) Project is to provide quantitative data on global ocean bio-optical properties to the Earth science community. Subtle changes in ocean color signify various types and quantities of marine phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), the knowledge of which has both scientific and practical applications. The SeaWiFS Project will develop and operate a research data system that will process, calibrate, validate, archive and distribute data received from an Earth-orbiting ocean color sensor. A detailed description of the objectives, organization and operations as well as the current status of the SeaWiFS Project is available.

+ Visit the SeaWIFS web site