Aquarius Retrieval

Aquarius sensed energy emitted from the ocean surface, which is measured as an equivalent "brightness" temperature in Kelvin. To achieve the mission's science goals, Aquarius detected change in brightness temperature of about 0.1 Kelvin. This was achieved by careful instrument design (e.g., thermal control), data averaging, and avoidance and/or mitigation of contamination sources such as radiation from the Sun. The elements outlined below are key to making this very challenging measurement possible. MORE

Aquarius Processing

Version 5 (V5) is the official end-of-mission dataset, spanning the complete 45-month period of Aquarius science data availability from 25-Aug-11 to 07-Jun-15. Improving the accuracy of Aquarius measurements has been a key activity to ensure that the data are most useful for science and society. Scientists and engineers have worked together to test and refine algorithms – or step-by-step procedures for calculations – used to process Aquarius's ocean surface salinity data. V5 data represents the state-of-the-art in remote sensing of salinity and, although the Aquarius Project has ended, the raw data are available and plans exist to continue working on improvements. MORE


View maps created using Aquarius and SMAP data.


The archive of record for NASA Salinity archived data products is NASA's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC), located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition to the Level-1a orbital source data products, Level 2 orbital swath data and Level 3 gridded salinity products are available. MORE