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* Corresponding author 1 ICM - Institute of Marine Sciences - Institut de Ciències del Mar Barcelona 2 UPC - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Barcelona 3 Construcciones aeronauticas S.A. 4 ESTEC - European Space Research and Technology Centre 5 LOCEAN - Laboratoire d-Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques 6 IFREMER Nantes - Institut Français de Recherche pour l-Exploitation de la Mer - Nantes 7 CESBIO - Centre d-études spatiales de la biosphère 8 ESRIN - European State Research Institute

Abstract : Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity, European Space Agency, is the first satellite mission addressing the challenge of measuring sea surface salinity from space. It uses an L-band microwave interferometric radiometer with aperture synthesis MIRAS that generates brightness temperature images, from which both geophysical variables are computed. The retrieval of salinity requires very demanding performances of the instrument in terms of calibration and stability. This paper highlights the importance of ocean salinity for the Earth-s water cycle and climate; provides a detailed description of the MIRAS instrument, its principles of operation, calibration, and imagereconstruction techniques; and presents the algorithmic approach implemented for the retrieval of salinity from MIRAS observations, as well as the expected accuracy of the obtained results.

Keywords : remote sensing microwave radiometry imaging Aperture synthesis salinity

Autor: Jordi Font - Adriano Camps - A. Borges - Manuel Martin-Neira - Jacqueline Boutin - Nicolas Reul - Yann Kerr - A. Hahne - Suzanne



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