IOCCG Fellowship Programme

IOCCG logo The IOCCG is pleased to announce a new Fellowship Programme, which offers the opportunity for young scientists from developing countries to conduct hands-on research, or to receive in-depth training, at a foreign institute. The fellowship is open to scientists, technicians, graduate students, and Post-Doctoral Fellows involved in any aspect of ocean-colour research relevant to the aims and objectives of the IOCCG. Funds will be provided for the successful applicant(s) to travel to an institute outside their home country for a short period (1-2 months), to work with experts in the field. For further details refer to IOCCG Training and Education webpage.

MODIS-Aqua ready for launch

Delta Delta II launch vehicle for Aqua

The launch of the second Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Earth Observing System's (EOS) Aqua satellite has been rescheduled to April 26, 2002. Aqua will be flying in an orbit that covers the globe every 16 days. It will provide a six year chronology of the planet and its processes.
Meanwhile, MODIS, aboard NASA's Terra satellite is fully functional once again after a software patch was successfully uploaded to it. The sensor had slipped into safe mode during a routine orbital correction manoeuvre by the spacecraft on March 19, 2002. In safe mode, the instrument shuts down and a door closes across its aperture to prevent potentially damaging sunlight from streaming in. Since then, satellite controllers had tried to restart MODIS but an onboard device called a "formatter", which feeds data into the sensor's processing computer, kept sending erroneous reset commands. The new software patch overrides these commands.
Technicians also identified and replaced faulty circuit boards on Aqua's MODIS sensor that are believed to be the root of the problem on MODIS-Terra. The work was done while the Aqua spacecraft was awaiting shipment from prime contractor TRW Space & Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, California.

News from SeaWiFS

SeaWiFS Reprocessing Update
In its effort to reprocess the SeaWiFS data-set, the project office is currently running a series of incremental tests to quantify the effects of a number of proposed updates that are being considered for the next reprocessing. The ocean-colour community will be notified when the results of these changes are posted on a special webpage dedicated to the reprocessing. In the past weeks the project office has taken care of most of the algorithmic-related improvements. Also, work has been done on some very detailed refinements to a few of their methodologies. They have now updated the long-term SeaWiFS calibrations to account for a very small (less than 0.35 per cent over 1000 days) change in band 3 that was not taken into account previously.

SeaWiFS Publications
The SeaWiFS Project would like to keep a record of all published journal articles, book chapters, proceedings papers, or abstract presentations (talk/poster) that utilized SeaWiFS data. To help them accomplish this goal, you are requested to email the titles of these reasearch contributions to SeaWiFS Project Manager, Gene Feldman: gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.go Also, please send a hard copy of the paper to: Dr Gene Feldman, SeaWiFS Project, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 970.2, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
(Hard copies of meeting abstracts are not required). The SeaWiFS Project would like to receive as many of these titles as possible by the end of April, so act now!

Think twice before interpreting
satellite images

James Acker (Goddard DAAC) takes a new look at SeaWiFS satellite images off the coast of Namibia, in his latest Science Focus! article. Cloudy milky-white features previously attributed to a bloom of coccolithophorids, have been shown to be caused by clouds of sulfur particles. See A bloom by any other name… might never be a bloom at all for the full story.

MERIS launched

MERIS MERIS image of Sicily, Italy taken on March 23, 2002. Click on the photo to see the larger image. Image courtesy ESA

The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) onboard the ENVISAT-1 satellite was launched successfully on March 1, 2002 from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. Spectacular images are already available from MERIS, and one of the first observations show a huge phytoplankton patch produced by the "upwelling" mechanism along the Mauritanian coast. The unprecedented resolution (300 m) allows fine scale structures to be detected.

MERIS was designed to measure the concentration of phytoplankton as well as yellow substances, suspended matter and aerosol loads etc. The sensor has the capability of detecting chlorophyll concentrations of less than 0.1µg per litre. Data from MERIS will provide continuous global observations of the distribution of phytoplankton, which will provide data sets for improved ocean modelling. MERISThe sensor will also provide information on carbon fixation through photosynthesis within the Earth's ocean, to increase our understanding of the carbon cycle.

The first MERIS observation has captured the huge phytoplankton patch produced by the "upwelling" mechanism along the Mauritanian coast.Image courtesy, ESA.

SPIE's Third International Asia-Pacific Symposium

The deadline for accepting abstracts for SPIE's conference on Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Ocean, Environment, and Space has now been extended to April 25, 2002. The conference will be held in Hangzhou, China from October 23-27, 2002. This conference will focus on applications of ocean-colour data from medium-resolution ocean-colour sensors and the Asia-Pacific marine environment, including data analysis techniques, calibration and evaluation, and studies of the open oceans, estuaries, and coastal regions. Additional details available on the conference website.

Gallery Updates

Several new images from the MERIS and the MODIS ocean-colour sensors have been added to the IOCCG ocean-colour image gallery. Images can be viewed by continent or by sensor.

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