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SKIM, a Candidate Satellite Mission Exploring Global Ocean Currents and Waves

Ardhuin, F; Brandt, P; Gaultier, L; Donlon, C; Battaglia, A; Boy, F; Casal, T; ... Stammer, D; + view all (2019) SKIM, a Candidate Satellite Mission Exploring Global Ocean Currents and Waves. [Review]. Frontiers in Marine Science , 6 , Article 209. 10.3389/fmars.2019.00209. Green open access

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Abstract

The Sea surface KInematics Multiscale monitoring (SKIM) satellite mission is designed to explore ocean surface current and waves. This includes tropical currents, notably the poorly known patterns of divergence and their impact on the ocean heat budget, and monitoring of the emerging Arctic up to 82.5°N. SKIM will also make unprecedented direct measurements of strong currents, from boundary currents to the Antarctic circumpolar current, and their interaction with ocean waves with expected impacts on air-sea fluxes and extreme waves. For the first time, SKIM will directly measure the ocean surface current vector from space. The main instrument on SKIM is a Ka-band conically scanning, multi-beam Doppler radar altimeter/wave scatterometer that includes a state-of-the-art nadir beam comparable to the Poseidon-4 instrument on Sentinel 6. The well proven Doppler pulse-pair technique will give a surface drift velocity representative of the top meter of the ocean, after subtracting a large wave-induced contribution. Horizontal velocity components will be obtained with an accuracy better than 7 cm/s for horizontal wavelengths larger than 80 km and time resolutions larger than 15 days, with a mean revisit time of 4 days for of 99% of the global oceans. This will provide unique and innovative measurements that will further our understanding of the transports in the upper ocean layer, permanently distributing heat, carbon, plankton, and plastics. SKIM will also benefit from co-located measurements of water vapor, rain rate, sea ice concentration, and wind vectors provided by the European operational satellite MetOp-SG(B), allowing many joint analyses. SKIM is one of the two candidate satellite missions under development for ESA Earth Explorer 9. The other candidate is the Far infrared Radiation Understanding and Monitoring (FORUM). The final selection will be announced by September 2019, for a launch in the coming decade.

Type: Article
Title: SKIM, a Candidate Satellite Mission Exploring Global Ocean Currents and Waves
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00209
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00209
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: ocean current, tropics, Arctic, Doppler, altimetry, sea state, remote sensing, ocean waves
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079653
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