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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

ECOSPACE : a pre-operational satellite system and services for ocean colour monitoring
Author(s): André Morel; Guy Cerutti-Maori; Michel Morel

Paper Abstract

A permanent monitoring of the oceanic algal biomass (phytoplankton), of its photosynthetic activity, ecological and biogeochemical impact, or of its long-term response to changing physical and climatic conditions, is a crucial goal of scientific programmes (such as JGOFS, GLOBEC, LOICZ), as well as of international observing systems (such as GOOS, GCOS, IGOS). After a decade without ocean colour satellite-borne sensor, several instruments have been, or will be launched. They are increasingly sophisticated in their design and operation. Their complexity results from constraints for multipurpose mission (involving not only ocean, but also land and atmosphere), or from requirements for exploratory research projects and development of new methodologies for improved ocean colour interpretation and “advanced” products.

In contrast, the proposed specific ECOSPACE mission is an ocean colour dedicated instrument, with a global monitoring vocation. It relies on known algorithms for accurate atmospheric corrections and aerosol load estimate over open ocean (about 96% of the whole ocean), and known algorithms for a meaningful quantification of the oceanic algal biomass (in terms of Chlorophyll concentration). The coastal zones are observed as well, and their particular features delineated : however, detailed studies that imply high ground resolution and more spectral channels are out of the scope of the present proposal. The ECOSPACE mission represents a feasibility demonstration ; more precisely it is a first step toward the setting up of an operational Satellite System and Services for a future continuous supply of stable, compatible, easy-to-merge ocean colour date products. In essence, such a Service would be similar to those already existing for meteorology and for some oceanic variables (e.g. sea level).

Although new approaches to management and implementation over a short time scale are needed, the ECOSPACE project relies essentially on existing scientific and technological experience developed in particular under ESA funding in the frame of the MERIS project, including sensor simulation and processor, and instrument building. Indeed, most of the ECOSPACE components are already available or in final approval processes ; costly activities on the critical path for a traditional satellite system will be greatly reduced, when not totally cancelled by use of developed µsatellite platform : PROBA from ESA or µSAT from CNES. The same argument holds true for the ground segment, algorithm architecture, and data management. These platforms are compatible of piggy back on ARIANE 5 Launcher.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2017
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 10569, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2000, 1056922 (21 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2307898
Show Author Affiliations
André Morel, Lab. de Physique et Chimie Marine (France)
Guy Cerutti-Maori, Alcatel Space Industries (France)
Michel Morel, ACRI (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10569:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2000
Georges Otrio, Editor(s)

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