Context and Objectives

The ESA STSE Pathfinders focuses on innovative research and development activities aiming to explore the potential offered by the synergies among ESA missions also in combination with non-ESA data sets in view of developing new products.

In order to address this, the present project focuses on the development of new sea surface salinity (SSS) products that will exploit the synergy between the remote-sensed SSS, both from SMOS and Aquarius missions, and the existing in situ SSS dataset. The technology to obtain the new SSS products (Level 4 SSS fields) will focus on the extraction of meaningful SSS signals from the remote-sensed dataset (i.e. taking out noise and contaminated data) by an incremental approach in which EOF modes are consecutively added to a background SSS field computed from in situ data. This approach allows to (i) improve the quality of the remote-sensed data and to (ii) demonstrate the added value of the remote-sensed dataset with respect to the pre-satellite SSS data (in situ data). The developed technology will be applied to the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, in order to work in two very different environments in what concerns amount of noise and contamination.