Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ocean satellite launch critical to Australian science

24.06.2008
A new earth observing satellite being launched in California today will help guide future Australian ocean and climate science.

Jason-2, or the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM), is a joint venture between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the French Space Agency (CNES) and the European Meteorology Satellite service (EUMETSAT).

"There's plenty resting on this satellite in terms of where our ocean and climate science is going," says Dr David Griffin, an oceanographer from the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship and a member of the international Science Team which advises on satellite altimeter missions.

"Jason-2 provides a lifeline between space and some very significant science projects that are integral to our capabilities in understanding how the oceans are changing and particularly future ocean forecasting products," he says.

With an orbit 1336 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, Jason-2 will be one of three satellites equipped with special altimetry sensors to precisely measure sea level, and indirectly infer ocean heat content changes.

This information is also important for: Australia’s evolving ocean forecasting system, BLUElink; sea safety and offshore oil and gas operations; measuring global sea level rise; tracking large-scale ocean-atmosphere phenomena like El Niño and La Niña and marine mammals feeding in nutrient-rich ocean eddies; and forecasting currents for sports events such as the Sydney-Hobart yacht race.

“Jason-2 provides a lifeline between space and some very significant science projects that are integral to our capabilities in understanding how the oceans are changing and particularly future ocean forecasting products,"

he says.High quality satellite altimetry started with the TOPEX/Poseidon mission (1992-2005), and continued with Jason-1 (2001-to the present). The altimeters measure sea surface height, from which we can estimate the strength and direction of ocean currents and also map sea level rise.

Australian scientists contribute to the science mission in a number of ways, including calibration of the sensors on board the satellite. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, in conjunction with the University of Tasmania, the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Tidal Centre and Geoscience Australia has been running a calibration facility at Burnie (NW Tasmania) since 1992. This was enhanced by the deployment of a French transportable Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) system at Burnie earlier this year. Burnie is the only absolute calibration site in the Southern Hemisphere. The other two main sites are off the coast of California, and in the Mediterranean Sea.

The satellite will provide 95 per cent coverage of the world's ice-free oceans, repeating its coverage every 10 days and measuring sea surface height with an accuracy of about 3 centimetres.

Australian science agencies using data from the new satellite include the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research – a partnership of CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology – and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre.

Craig Macaulay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht First machine learning method capable of accurate extrapolation
13.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht A step closer to single-atom data storage
13.07.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>