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The effect of the ionosphere on remote sensing of sea surface salinity from space: absorption and emission at L band

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2 Author(s)
Le Vine, D.M. ; Microwave Sensors Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Abraham, S.

The purpose of this work is to examine the effects of Faraday rotation and attenuation/emission in the ionosphere in the context of a future remote sensing system in space to measure salinity. Sea surface salinity is important for understanding ocean circulation and for modeling energy exchange with the atmosphere. A passive microwave sensor in space operating near 1.4 GHz (L-band) could provide global coverage and complement in situ arrays being planned to provide subsurface profiles. However, the salinity signal is relatively small and changes along the propagation path can be important sources of error. It is shown that errors due to the ionosphere can be as large as several psu. The dominant source of error is Faraday rotation but emission can be important.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 4 )