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      • 2 campaigns for SKIM in the Iroise Sea

      • Organised by CMM members

      • The Sea surface Kinematics Multiscale monitoring mission (SKIM) is one of the two candidate missions to the European Space Agency's Earth Explorer (EE) EE-9.
      • 2 campaigns for SKIM in the Iroise Sea
      • SKIM will be a unique mission designed to measure total ocean surface currents directly and at the same location and time, the directional surface wave spectrum using an innovative Doppler radar technique.

        One of the requirements for an Earth Explorer is innovation and as such two simultaneous campaigns have been prepared in order to prove that the main SKIM concept works, i.e., that a pulse-pair Doppler radar measurement of the ocean surface can be used to retrieve a meaningful ocean surface current.

        The two SKIM campaigns named DRIF4SKIM and KUROS4SKIM address respectively the insitu and airborne components.

        The measurements which started on the 20 November 2018 took place off of Brest, in France in the Iroise Sea, an area known for strong tides and also strong sea fronts, which makes the region ideal to sample different regimes in a relatively small area.

        The weather in Brest at this time of the year was a major uncertainty factor but due to the unusual weather conditions that Europe experienced late November 2018 it played in our favour and allowed this campaign to collect an unprecedented rich and complete dataset.

        The DRIFT4SKIM campaign led by IFREMER/LOPS represented the insitu component where several different ocean instrumentation (such as drifters) were released from two different vessels (the RV Thalia and smaller zodiacs) into the water and follow the current which will be key to validate the airborne measurements. The airborne component named KUROS4SKIM is led by CNES and was composed of two aircraft from SAFIRE. The larger aircraft, SAFIRE ATR42, was flying the main payload, a Ku-band radar developed by LATMOS called KUROS and a more experimental Ka-Band radar from IETR called KARADOC. KUROS which was developed for the French/Chinese mission CFOSAT has a rotating antenna with different beams similar to the planned SKIM payload (even though at a different frequency, since SKIM will be Ka band) and has been flying since 2012 whereas KARADOC (same frequency as SKIM but doesn’t rotate) is a recent development and underwent its first campaign with an optimized configuration for SKIM. Complementing the radar flights, there are also optical and IR instrumentation flying on a smaller SAFIRE airplane (Piper Aztec) providing a comprehensive heat signature of the ocean.
        This large team effort was so successful due to the motivation and dedication of several people (and their groups) in particular, Francois Boy (CNES), Louis Marié (LOPS), Frederic Nouguier (LOPS), Dr. Fab and the OceanDataLab team.


        • Figs 1 and 2: Buoys deployment from the research vessel Thalia (from L. Marié)

        • Figs 1 and 2: Buoys deployment from the research vessel Thalia (from L. Marié)

        • Fig.3: Ready to depart on the ATR42 from SAFIRE

        • Fig.4: Inside the SAFIRE ATR42 aircraft

        • Fig.5: Testing of the IR camera on the small SAFIRE aircraft (Piper Aztec)

        • Fig.6. View from above (500 m) with the SAFIRE Piper (from F. Nouguier)

        • Fig.7: First raw radar Doppler image (from F. Boy) over the ocean.

      • Published on 27/02/2019
      • SAFIRE








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