BackForwardInstrument:  SeaWiFS 

Instrument details
Acronym SeaWiFS
Full name Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor
Purpose Ocean colour (chlorophyll, suspended sediments, yellow matter) and aerosol
Short description 8 VIS/NIR channels [see detailed characteristics below]
Background Follow-on of the Nimbus-7 CZCS
Scanning Technique Cross-track: 2048 pixel of 800 m s.s.p., swath 2800 km - Along-track: six 1.1-km lines/s - Possibility to tilt the instrument to see aft- or fore- along track by 20 degrees to avoid sunglint
Resolution 1.1 IFOV
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage every day, in daylight
Mass 45 kg Power 88 W Data Rate 2 Mbps

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1997 to 2010-12-11
Last update: 2012-09-13
Detailed characteristics
Central wavelength Bandwidth SNR at specified input radiance
412 nm 20 nm 499 @ 9.10 mW cm-2
443 nm 20 nm 674 @ 8.41 mW cm-2
490 nm 20 nm 667 @ 6.56 mW cm-2
510 nm 20 nm 640 @ 5.64 mW cm-2
555 nm 20 nm 596 @ 4.57 mW cm-2
670 nm 20 nm 442 @ 2.46 mW cm-2
765 nm 40 nm 455 @ 1.61 mW cm-2
865 nm 40 nm 467 @ 1.09 mW cm-2
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • Moderate resolution optical imager
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Colour Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM)
  • Ocean Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient (DAC)
  • Ocean chlorophyll concentration
  • Ocean suspended sediments concentration
  • Oil spill cover
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Aerosol column burden3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol effective radius5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol mass mixing ratio4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol Optical Depth3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Aerosol type4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS (with narrow bandwidth) and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level aerosol
Biomass5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. Biomass inferred from NDVI
Cloud cover5 - marginalDaylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Cloud optical depth4 - fairLow-density cloud only.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Cloud top height5 - marginalDaylight only.NIR channels to estimate the total-column O2 above the cloud top as measured around 760 nm
Cloud type5 - marginalDaylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Colour Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM)3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwith VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean
Downward short-wave irradiance at Earth surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Highly indirect.VIS and NIR channels
Earth surface albedo4 - fairCloud sensitive.VIS channels
Fire fractional cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Coarse spatial resolution.. Daylight only.VIS channels
Fraction of Absorbed PAR (FAPAR)2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS channels including Red at 700 nm
Leaf Area Index (LAI)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. LAI inferred from NDVI
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.VIS and NIR channels
Ocean chlorophyll concentration 3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwith VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean
Ocean Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient (DAC)3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwith VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean
Ocean suspended sediments concentration3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.Many narrow-bandwith VIS channels, suitable for more water types, in open ocean
Oil spill cover3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS channels with narrow bandwidth
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)3 - highCloud sensitive.VIS channels, range accurately sampled
Sea-ice cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR (for contour enhancement) channels
Short-wave cloud reflectance4 - fairNo specific limitation.VIS and NIR channels
Snow cover5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels
Soil moisture at surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels. Soil moisture inferred from differential brightness
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA5 - marginalSpectral interpolation needed.. Information on BRDF needed.VIS and NIR channels
Aerosol volcanic ash4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level ashes
Aerosol volcanic ash (Total column)3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS and NIR channels including 760 nm for high-level ashes