Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Research Title: Ocean Color

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 9.9
FY95 4.5
FY96 3.7

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Committee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Climate Change (100%)
(c) Research Activity: Observation (100%)

Organizational Components:
Operations, Data and Information Systems Division
Office of Mission To Planet Earth
NASA Headquarters, Code YD
Washington, DC 20546

Point of Contact:
Stanley Schneider
Phone: 202-358-0255

Research Goals:
To obtain scientifically useful global ocean color data for a five-year period and to make that data available to researchers.

Research Description:
NASA will purchase, from the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC), ocean color data to be acquired by the SeaWiFS instrument which will fly on the SeaStar satellite to be launched in July, 1994. SeaWiFS will provide worldwide high-precision, moderate-resolution, multispectral visible observations of ocean radiance, thus building on the experience gained from the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) on Nimbus-7. These data should determine the mean and variable bio-optical reflectance characteristics of the upper ocean, leading to an understanding of the primary productivity of the upper oceans and the affected fluxes of carbon dioxide and other trace gases across the air-sea interface. MO&DA will fund the acquisition, processing, and archiving of resulting long-term data sets.

Program Interfaces:
The SeaWiFS Project at GSFC is responsible for processing data into meaningful biological values and for making that data available to researchers via the EOSDIS DAACs. OSC is responsible for SeaWiFS development. OSC is responsible for SeaStar development, launch and operations and providing ocean color data to NASA.

Program Milestones:
SeaStar is currently scheduled for launch in spring, 1995.

Policy Payoffs:
A better understanding of the extent, causes, and regional consequences of global change.