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Aqua Science


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Title: Aqua Science

Aqua Science
Claire L. Parkinson
Aqua Project Scientist NASA Goddard Space Flight
Center Afternoon Constellation Working Group
Meeting NASA Goddard Space Flight
Center Greenbelt, Maryland March 17, 2003
The Aqua Spacecraft
Highlights of Aquas Early On-Orbit Progress
  • May 4, 2002 -- Launch deployment of the solar
  • May 12 -- First AMSU science data.
  • May 14 -- First HSB science data.
  • May 24 -- First AMSR-E science data.
  • May 26 -- First AIRS visible/near-infrared
    science data.
  • June 12 -- First AIRS infrared science data.
  • June 17 -- Final ascent burn to 705 km
  • June 18 -- First CERES science data.
  • June 24 -- First MODIS science data.
  • July 12 -- Direct broadcast turned on.
  • September 1 -- End of 120-day checkout

Data Flow and Capture Rates from Aqua
  • 89 Gbytes/day (8,230.6 kbps) data flow rate with
    all instruments operating
  • AIRS 1,270.0 kbps (15.43)
  • AMSU 2.0 kbps (0.02)
  • HSB 4.2 kbps
  • AMSR-E 87.4 kbps (1.06)
  • CERES (2) 20.0 kbps (0.24)
  • MODIS 6,847.0 kbps (83.19)
  • Near 100 data capture rates by the Flight
    Operations Team
  • 99.9876186 for May 10-December 31, 2002
  • 99.99999084 for January 2003

The Aqua Sounding Suite
Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB)
Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)
Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU two units)
Key Goals for the AIRS/AMSU/HSB Science Team
  • Improved atmospheric temperature measurements.
  • Improved humidity measurements.
  • Improved weather forecasts.
  • Improved climate under-
    standing through analysis
    of the
    temperature, water, cloud,
    ozone, methane, carbon
    monoxide, and carbon

    dioxide information.

Failed regional forecast for January 24, 2000,
when Washington, D.C. was struck by a major
snowstorm. (Map courtesy of Brett McDonald.)
Sample AIRS Infrared Spectra
a. Data from all 2378 AIRS infrared channels for
one footprint off the coast of South Africa, June
13, 2002, 130 UTC.
500 1000
1500 2000
2500 wavenumber
(cm-1) 20 10
5 4
wavelength (?m)
b. Detail showing the leftmost 128 channels in
plot a.
(spectra courtesy of the AIRS Team)
Mt. Etna Eruption as Seen in AIRS Imagery,
October 28, 2002
Visible/Near IR image
IR difference image highlighting SO2
(images courtesy of M. Chahine and the AIRS
Science Team)
Texas Thunderstorms as Seen in AMSU and HSB
Imagery, June 16, 2002
AMSU Ch. 2
AMSU Ch. 3
AMSU Ch. 4
AMSU Ch. 5
HSB Ch. 2
HSB Ch. 3
HSB Ch. 4
HSB Ch. 5
(images courtesy of the AIRS Science Team)
Rain Rate Images from AMSU/HSB June 16, 2002
South central U.S.
(images courtesy of the AIRS Science Team)
Arctic Snowstorm Tracked with AMSU/HSB Data,
July 20, 2002
a. 1118 UTC
b. 1248 UTC
c. 1439 UTC
d. 1610 UTC
(images courtesy of Dave Staelin, AIRS Science
Clouds and the Earths Radiant Energy System
(CERES two copies)
Schematic view
Actual CERES instruments, undergoing inspection
Key Goals for the CERES Science Team
  • Obtain and analyze accurate measurements of
    fluxes of outgoing radiation at the top of the
  • Shortwave radiation
  • Total radiation
  • Longwave radiation
  • Radiation in the 8-12 ?m atmospheric window.
  • Analyze clouds and their effects on climate,
    using CERES, MODIS, and other data.
  • Analyze the diurnal cycle of radiation fluxes,
    using the CERES data from Terra and Aqua.
  • Obtain and analyze long-term climate records
    using data from the Earth Radiation Budget
    Experiment (ERBE) and the CERES on TRMM, Terra,
    and Aqua.

Sample Global Image from CERES
June 22, 2002 Outgoing Longwave Radiation (W m-2)
Sample Hemispheric Images from CERES
Hemispheric Reflected Solar Radiation (left) and
Outgoing Longwave Radiation (right), both in W m-2
(images courtesy of the CERES Science Team)
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
Goal Improved understanding of numerous physical
and biological processes in the Earth system.
MODIS on Aqua, with the cover removed
Sample MODIS Land Imagery
Fires in Oregon, 8/12/02
Nile River, 7/23/02
Greenland Ice Sheet, 7/13/02
(images courtesy of the MODIS Science Team)
Mt. Etna eruption, 10/30/02
Sample MODIS Atmospheric Imagery
Clouds over Northwest Africa and vicinity, July
24, 2002
Water Vapor over Spain and North Africa, July 17,
Plume of dust blowing from Syria over the eastern
Mediterranean, October 19, 2002.
(images courtesy of the MODIS Science Team)
Chlorophyll a in the vicinity of Cuba, February
26, 2003, from the Terra and Aqua MODIS sensors
Aqua MODIS Chlorophyll a
Terra MODIS Chlorophyll a
(images courtesy of the MODIS Ocean Group)
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the
Earth Observing System (AMSR-E)
Key AMSR-E Data Products
  • Rainfall
  • Water vapor (total atmospheric column)
  • Cloud water (total atmospheric column)
  • Sea surface temperature
  • Sea surface wind speed
  • Sea ice concentration
  • Sea ice temperature
  • Snow depth on sea ice
  • Snow-water equivalent on land
  • Surface soil moisture

Global Sea Surface Temperatures from AMSR-E,
June 2-4, 2002
(image courtesy of NASDA)
Merging of September 26, 2002 SST data from the
Aqua AMSR-E and the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI)
Combined Product
(courtesy of F. Wentz)
Super Typhoon Higos, October 1, 2002, as seen in
AMSR-E Imagery
Close-up of the Karman vortex street caused by
Yaku Island.
AMSR-E color composite using the 89 GHz V H and
23.8 GHz V channels.
(images courtesy of NASDA)
Global Sea Ice Coverage June 2-4, 2002 (top) and
July 21-22, 2002 (bottom) from AMSR-E
(images courtesy of NASDA)
Near Real Time Data Usage
  • ECMWF, NCEP, and the UK Met Office are testing
    the AIRS/ AMSU/HSB data for use in operational
    weather forecasting. ECMWF expects to begin
    operational use this summer.
  • The interagency Near Real Time Processing Effort
    (NRTPE) is incorporating Aqua MODIS and AIRS data
    and is in the preparatory phase toward
    incorporating AMSR-E data.
  • Throughout the mission, numerous instances of
    near-real-time value in the data products have

7/4/02 East China Sea typhoon from AMSR-E
(courtesy of NASDA)
6/24/02 Australian fires from MODIS
6/16/02 Texas thunder-storms from HSB
Data Validation Progress
  • CERES FM4 Level 1b radiances have been declared
    validated FM3 Level 1b radiances and all Level 2
    and 3 ERBE-like TOA fluxes are expected to be
    validated by the end of May.
  • MODIS SSTs have been declared validated.
  • Under clear conditions, the AIRS Team has met its
    goal of 1 K temperature accuracies in the lower
  • AMSR-E validation campaigns are underway.
  • Inter-instrument comparisons have been very
    encouraging. E.g., AIRS/MODIS SSTs have an RMS
    difference of less than 0.2 K, and AIRS/ TOMS
    ozone retrievals agree to ? 7 RMS.

Instructional Data Products Workshops
  • MODIS Land Products Workshops
  • Univ. Maryland, June 2002 (land cover products)
  • Univ. Montana, July 2002 (vegetation products)
  • Univ. Maryland, July 2002 (fire product)
  • Boston Univ., October 2002 (radiation, snow, and
    ice products).
  • First CERES Data Products Workshop, Norfolk,
    Virginia, January 29-30, 2003.
  • First MODIS Ocean Products Workshop, Univ. New
    Hampshire, February 3-4, 2003.

(photos courtesy of the CERES Team)
Performance Difficulties
  • HSB has been in survival mode since February 5.
  • MODIS band 6 has 14 failed detectors (out of 20).
  • The AMSR-E 6.9 GHz channels are impacted by radio
    frequency interference (RFI).
  • The CERES FM3 unit had a 4 shift between ground
    and in-flight calibration.
  • The AIRS primary cooler required defrosting.
  • There was a geolocation error until March 5, 2003.

AMSR-E RFI Index, 6.9 GHz, horiz., - 10.7 GHz,
horiz., June 2002 (from AMSR-E Team)
Summary of Aqua Status
  • The spacecraft and data capture and processing
    systems are all working well.
  • AIRS, AMSU, AMSR-E, MODIS, and CERES are all
    working well.
  • HSB is in survival mode.
  • Subsets of the AIRS/AMSU/HSB and MODIS data are
    being used in near real time forecasting efforts,
    and subsets of the AMSR-E data will be shortly.
  • The science teams are analyzing the data and
    carrying out validation efforts. The MODIS SSTs
    and CERES FM4 Level 1b radiances have been
    declared validated.
  • An Aqua Special Issue of the IEEE Transactions on
    Geoscience and Remote Sensing is due out in April
    (February 2003 issue).
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