Successful IOCCG Training Course in Cape Town

S. Africa A ten day training course on 'Remote Sensing of Ocean Colour: Analysis and Applications' recently concluded in Cape Town, South Africa, (3-13 December, 2001). Sixteen students, from seven African countries and one each from India and Argentina participated in the course. Some of the notable topics covered during the course included the use of the Benguela Upwelling system off southwestern Africa as an example for the 'hands on' demonstration of fundamental SeaWiFS image analysis; introduction and demonstration of SeaDAS for ocean colour processing; introduction to the OCM instrument on the Indian satellite IRS-P4 and an introduction to primary productivity. For a complete report of the training course visit the IOCCG training web page.

News from the SeaWiFS Project

Release of SeaDAS 4.1
SeaDAS SeaDAS 4.1 for SGI, SUN and Linux platforms was released last month. This version of SeaDAS provides users with the latest programmes to process SeaWiFS, OCTS and MOS data plus the ability to display newer formats of MODIS data products. Major changes from the earlier version of SeaDAS include general enhancements and processing program modifications (new Level-2 processing program, new products added etc.). Please consult the SeaDAS homepage for downloading and installation details.

OCTS global data set
In a successful interagency collaborative effort between NASDA (National Space Development Agency of Japan) and the NASA SIMBIOS and SeaWIFS Projects, the entire OCTS global area coverage (GAC) data set was reprocessed and the products are now available for the scientific community. NASDA provided the complete OCTS GAC Level-1a data set (November 1996 - June 1997) and NASA provided the processing expertise and the archive and distribution support.

The entire OCTS data set was reprocessed using the same software and algorithms employed for standard SeaWiFS processing to minimize processing-related differences (atmospheric correction and bio-optical algorithms) between the SeaWiFS and OCTS missions. For more information please visit the SeaWiFS website.

SeaWiFS reprocessing
The SeaWiFS Project is currently preparing for the next complete global reprocessing of the SeaWiFS data set (4 + years) sometime within the next few months. The project office has invited suggestions and comments from the community concerning the proposed changes.

At present, tests are being conducted and a summary of the current status will be presented at the upcoming SIMBIOS Science Team meeting in January 2002. Based on the latest round of processing benchmark runs, it is anticipated that the reprocessing of the standard products for the entire mission would be complete in less than two weeks. Three groups of changes have been considered since the last reprocessing in May 2000. For further details, refer to the document released by the SeaWiFS project.

Science Focus Articles
If you are interested in Case 2 waters and have not yet had a chance to look at Volume III of the SeaWiFS Science Focus pages, take a look at the excellent article by Dr. James Acker (Goddard DAAC Ocean Color Data Support Team) entitled 'Turbidity - through a water column, darkly'.
bering sea Another interesting Science Focus article entitled 'The Bering Sea: Seasons and Cycles of Change' examines phytoplankton blooms in the Bering Sea over the past 4 years, and their relation to changes in climate.

MOS Mission

MOS Despite the fact that the MOS sensor (operated by DLR, Germany) is the "oldest" ocean-colour sensor in orbit (launched in March, 1996), it is still functioning well and producing high-quality data. The sensor can no longer be calibrated using the sun and internal calibrations due to problems with the on board power block, but calibration is maintained using known targets as well as inter-comparisons with SeaWiFS data (provided by the SIMBIOS Project). To date there are no plans to terminate the mission, which will be kept operational as long as technically feasible. The only limiting resource is the onboard fuel supply.
Earlier this year (May 30 to June 1, 2001) a successful workshop was held at the DLR Center, Berlin (4th Berlin Workshop on Ocean Remote Sensing) to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the launch of IRS-P3 carrying the MOS sensor. The workshop included a wide range of sessions, from those dedicated specifically to the MOS mission, to sessions on "MERIS Preparation" and "Physical Oceanography" including studies using SAR. The proceedings of the workshop are currently in press.

MODIS Ocean Data Products

The MODIS Data Support Team recently announced the availability of two new MODIS ocean data products derived from the revised V3.2.x algorithms:
  • Level 3 MODIS/Terra ocean colour monthly binned, global 4 km (MODOCM)
  • Level 3 MODIS/Terra sea surface temperature monthly binned, global 4 km (MOD28M)
These are still considered "provisional" (version 3) data products, and should be used for scientific analysis and evaluation by the general community. Users should consult the principal investigators prior to publication. For more information on GSFC DAAC MODIS data products please consult the MODIS Data Support website.

Workshops and Meetings

Several new ocean-related conferences and meetings have been added to the IOCCG conference page including the following:

IOCCG 7th annual meeting
The seventh annual IOCCG Committee meeting will take place from January 10-12, 2002 in Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France. Some of the topics to be discussed at the meeting include progress of the current IOCCG working groups; reports on various IOCCG training initiatives; status of current and future ocean-colour missions; development of a strategic plan for ocean colour.

SIMBIOS Science Team meeting
The SIMBIOS Science Team meeting will take place on January 15-17, 2002 at BWI Airport Marriott Hotel, Baltimore, MD, USA. For details see the IOCCG Conferences page.

Symposium on operational oceanography and remote sensing
AMRS Oceanlogy International (OI) will be holding its annual conference and exhibition from March 5-8, 2002 in London, U.K. As a part of this event, a symposium addressing operational oceanography from an Earth observation/remote sensing perspective will be conducted by the Alliance for Marine Remote Sensing (AMRS). These sessions will include oral presentations as well as an opportunity for informal discussion and participation in concurrent OI events. Informal discussions will be encouraged through the hosting of interactive poster sessions. For details visit the IOCCG Conferences page.

UN workshops
The United Nations Office for Outer Space together with several other UN agencies and partners, will be organising two regional workshops on the 'Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management'. The first workshop will take place in June 2002 (for Africa) and the second one will take place in November 2002 (for Asia and the Pacific).

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