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IPRC/SOEST Aquarius V5.0 Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Salinity 7-Day global Dataset

The IPRC/SOEST Aquarius OI-SSS v5 product is a level 4, near-global, 0.5 degree spatial resolution, 7-day, optimally interpolated salinity dataset based on version 5.0 of the AQUARIUS/SAC-D level 2 mission data. This is a PI led dataset produced at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. The optimal interpolation (OI) mapping procedure used to create this product corrects for systematic spatial biases in Aquarius SSS data with respect to near-surface in situ salinity observations and takes into account available statistical information about the signal and noise, specific to the Aquarius instrument. Bias fields are constructed by differencing in situ from Aquarius derived SSS fields obtained separately using ascending and descending satellite observations for each of the three Aquarius beams, and by removal of small-scale noise and low-pass filtering along-track using a two-dimensional Hanning window procedures prior to application of the OI algorithm. Additional enhancements for this new version of the product include: 1) The V5.0 (end-of mission) version of Aquarius Level-2 (swath) SSS data are used as input data for the OI SSS analysis. 2) The source of the first guess fields has changed from the APDRC Argo-derived SSS product to the average of four different in-situ based SSS products. 3) The bias correction algorithm has changed to adjust SSS retrievals for large-scale systematic biases on a repeat-track basis. 4) New, less restrictive thresholds are implemented to filter observations for land and ice contamination, thus improving coverage in the coastal areas and semi-enclosed seas. 5) Level-2 RFI masks for descending and ascending satellite passes are used to discard observations in specific geographic zones where excessive ascending-descending differences are observed due to contamination from undetected RFI. The Aquarius instrument is onboard the AQUARIUS/SAC-D satellite, a collaborative effort between NASA and the Argentinian Space Agency Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE). The instrument consists of three radiometers in push broom alignment at incidence angles of 29, 38, and 46 degrees incidence angles relative to the shadow side of the orbit. Footprints for the beams are: 76 km (along-track) x 94 km (cross-track), 84 km x 120 km and 96km x 156 km, yielding a total cross-track swath of 370 km. The radiometers measure brightness temperature at 1.413 GHz in their respective horizontal and vertical polarizations (TH and TV). A scatterometer operating at 1.26 GHz measures ocean backscatter in each footprint that is used for surface roughness corrections in the estimation of salinity. The scatterometer has an approximate 390km swath. The Aquarius polar orbit is sun synchronous at 657 km with a 6 pm, ascending node, and has a 7-Day repeat cycle.

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