Commissioning Update From Aquarius PI Gary Lagerloef: Radiometers Powered On
On Saturday evening the team powered-on the Aquarius radiometers for the first time in space. This occurred during the pass over McMurdo Ground Station, Antarctica, during the pass that began at 2022 UT, and the power on was at about 2027 UT. All the initial telemetry looked good. It was gratifying to see the many indicators turn green on the telemetry viewer.
At 2218 UT we got the first science data downlink here at Cordoba, which covered almost 1.5 orbits. The initial analysis of the radiometer electronics was much like what was expected. The initial calculations of the radiometer science data antenna brightness temperatures also looked excellent. The over-ocean values were as expected and it was easy to see the large changes between land and ocean. Deriving salinity from the data is not yet feasible until we compute now calibrations for the radiometers.
The calibration/validation team will be studying the initial few orbits Sunday to ensure that all is clear to power-on the scatterometer electronics later in the day.