Expanding the Paradigm for Operational Satellite Oceanography and Its Programmatic Implications

Christopher Brown, NOAA College Park, College Park, MD, United States, Paul M DiGiacomo, NOAA, NESDIS, College Park, MD, United States, Bojan R Bojkov, EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany, Fran├žois Montagner, EUMETSAT, Remote Sensing and Products Division, Darmstadt, Germany and Cara Wilson, NOAA, Monterey, United States
Satellite ocean measurements and their products are becoming increasingly mature and transitioning into operations, with many missions that currently or shortly will operationally provide oceanographic properties such as sea-surface height, ocean-surface vector winds, sea-surface temperature, and bio-optical properties. Due to the well-established use of satellite data for weather forecasting, there is a perception that operational satellite missions need only support near-real time (NRT) applications. This weather-centric NRT paradigm, an application that requires access to low latency data streams 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, often at the expense of data quality, does not meet the needs of all operational satellite oceanographic users. For example, several applications in fisheries and ecosystem management require an accurate understanding of change relative to climatological conditions. The existing NRT operational paradigm must therefore be rectified to reflect that operational oceanographic satellite data, products and services must support a broad spectrum of users. The acceptance of this expanded concept by the operational agencies is necessary because agencies supporting these operational missions need to implement and maintain infrastructure and scientific/technical activities (e.g., calibration/validation, on-orbit maneuvers, and reprocessing) that will ensure the resulting data and products meet user needs. This talk briefly describes the characteristics of this expanded view of operational satellite oceanographic data, the associated infrastructure and scientific/technical activities required to support it, and example applications that benefit from it.