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Validation of ENVISAT AATSR using the ISAR radiometer in Biscay and Western Approaches

Craig Donlon(1) , Werenfrid Wimmer(2) , Ian Robinson(3) , David Poulter(2) , and Julie Finlayson(4)

(1) Met Office, Fitzroy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, United Kingdom
(2) National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, United Kingdom
(3) National OCeanography Centre, European way, Southampton, United Kingdom
(4) Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, The Laboratory, Plymouth PL1 2PB, United Kingdom


The the Infra-red SST Autonomous Radiometer (ISAR) has been developed specifically for the autonomous validation of SSTskin temperature observations. ISAR can be deployed on ships of opportunity unattended for periods of up to three months providing an SSTskin measurement accuracy of ± 0.1K. Over the past 18 months, 2 ISAR instruments have been deployed in a continuous mode (one on, one off basis) aboard the P&O ship Pride of Bilbao operating from the UK to Northern Spain twice weekly. This work is in full collaboration with the EU FerryBox project and is part of a long-term investment for an AATSR validation program funded by the UK Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The ISAR-Ferrybox program is the most comprehensive AATSR validation campaign in the mid latitude regions.

This paper will quickly review the installation and performance of the ISAR system and complementary measurement systems aboard the M/V Pride of Bilbao. Complementary observations obtained from a suite of ocean-atmosphere sensors deployed on board the ship as part of the ISAR -Ferrybox project include wind speed, solar radiation, long wave downwelling radiation, SST5m, and recently, in situ SST3m measurements form a towed body. These parameters all may have a direct impact on AATSR validation due to the high accuracy requirements imposed by the AATSR itself (better than 0.1K). All validation data for matched ISAR and AATSR will then be presented and discussed in terms of the performance of the AATSR SSTskin products.


Workshop presentation

Full paper