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JPL SMAP Level 3 CAP Sea Surface Salinity Standard Mapped Image Monthly V5.0 Validated Dataset

This is the PI-produced JPL SMAP-SSS V5.0 CAP, level 3, monthly mapped sea surface salinity (SSS) product from the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory. It is based on the Combined Active-Passive (CAP) retrieval algorithm developed at JPL originally in the context of Aquarius/SAC-D and now extended to SMAP. JPL SMAP V5.0 SSS is based on the newly released SMAP V5 Level-1 Brightness Temperatures (TB). An enhanced calibration methodology has been applied to the brightness temperatures, which improves absolute radiometric calibration and reduces the biases between ascending and descending passes. The improved SMAP TB Level 1 TB will enhance the use of SMAP Level-1 data for other applications, such as sea surface salinity and winds. L3 monthly product file variables include: derived SSS with associated uncertainties and wind speed from SMAP and ancillary surface salinity from HYCOM. SMAP data begins on April 1, 2015 and is ongoing, with a 1 month latency in processing and availability. L3 products are global in extent and gridded at 0.25degree x 0.25degree with an approximate spatial resolution of 60km. The SMAP satellite is in a near-polar orbit at an inclination of 98 degrees and an altitude of 685 km. It has an ascending node time of 6 pm and is sun-synchronous. With its 1000km swath, SMAP achieves global coverage in approximately 3 days, but has an exact orbit repeat cycle of 8 days. On board instruments include a highly sensitive L-band radiometer operating at 1.41GHz and an L-band 1.26GHz radar sensor providing complementary active and passive sensing capabilities. Malfunction of the SMAP scatterometer on 7 July for the surface roughness correction required for the surface salinity retrieval.

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