Copernicus Sentinel-3B first infrared image makes international debut

Almost 90 sea surface temperature experts from around the world today (6 June) have their first look at the infrared images just received from ocean-monitoring Copernicus satellite Sentinel-3B.

Wednesday, 06 June 2018

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The Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) is meeting this week at EUMETSAT headquarters in Darmstadt.

A highlight of the meeting is the presentation of one of the first images over the ocean taken by the infrared channels on Sentinel-3B’s Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR).

Copernicus Sentinel-3B was launched from Plesestk, Russia, on 25 April.

The SLSTR instrument on Sentinel-3B delivered impressive imagery from its visible channels in early May and is now sending images from its infrared channels.

EUMETSAT Sea Surface Temperature Expert Igor Tomazic said the image beautifully shows the full dynamics of the Baltic Sea.

Beautiful Baltic Sea

“It captures generation of filaments and meanders in the Gulf of Finland, fully formed eddies in the Gotland Basin, coastal upwelling along the Polish and Latvian coasts and other mesoscale and sub mesoscale features in the basin,” Tomazic said. “It is really an impressive image promising high quality SLSTR-B measurements to increase the coverage of high-quality data we have been receiving for two years from the SLSTR on Sentinel-3A.”

"It really is an impressive image"

Igor Tomazic

The SLSTR measures the energy radiating from the Earth’s surface in nine spectral bands, including visible and infrared. The first image from the visible channels was released on 10 May, however, switching on the infrared channels had to wait until the instrument had outgassed water vapour and the channels had cooled to operating temperatures.

Like its twin, Sentinel-3A, which was launched in February 2016, this latest addition to the fleet of Copernicus satellites carries a suite of state-of-the-art instruments to systematically measure Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere.

The launch of Sentinel-3B represents the full deployment of the Sentinel-3 mission.

By accurately measuring temperature changes, the SLSTR will, for example, make an important contribution to monitoring large-scale events such as El Niño phenomena.

GHRSST annual meeting

The GHRSST annual meeting participants have been eagerly awaiting the full deployment of the Sentinel-3 mission and validation of its data, which will be carried out by an international team along with the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.

“When it was founded, the GHRSST was driven by emerging needs of ocean modelling,” EUMETSAT Sea Surface Temperature Expert and GHRSST chair Anne O’Carroll said.

“As it has grown, it has taken on different objectives such as climate monitoring, in addition to global operational oceanography.

“The make-up of the group has grown too, and we are pleased representatives from the China Meteorological Administration and the Korea Meteorological Administration are returning this year, along with representatives from Europe, the United States, Japan, India and Australia.”

The GHRSST aims to encourage international cooperation and progress in relation to sea surface temperature satellite observations.

It is an open international science group that promotes the application of satellites for monitoring sea surface temperature (SST) by enabling SST data producers, users and scientists to collaborate within an agreed framework of best practice.

The GHRSST provides a framework for SST data sharing, best practices for data processing and a forum for scientific dialogue, bringing SST to the user.

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