The Aquarius/SAC-D mission concept. The satellite is in a polar sun-synchronous orbit crossing the equator at 6pm (ascending) and 6am (descending) local time. The Aquarius sensor views continually away from the sun to avoid signal contamination from solar L-band energy flux. The three beams vary in width and incidence angle to form a 390 km wide ground swath. The orbit has an exact repeat ground track every seven days, with 390 km track spacing at the equator, ensuring complete global coverage of the swath. Salinity data calibration and validation will be based on available in situ surface measurements by ships, buoys and Argo floats.




Instrument Mode: Active/Passive L-band, Push-broom measurement approach using 3-beam, offset antenna.

Orbit: 657 km, sun synchronous @ 6 pm, ascending node

Observatory: CONAE contributes SAC-D (Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas) Service Platform and Ground Station.

Attitude & Orbit Control: Three axis stabilized, nadir pointing; maneuvering thrusters.

Observatory Dimensions (launch config): 2,7m (diameter) and 4,5 m

Communications: S Band Up and Downlink, X Band Data Downlink

Operational Life: 3 years (Aquarius); 5 years (S/P and SAC-D Instruments)

Launch Date: June 10, 2011

Launch Vehicle: Boeing Delta II 7320-10 Launch Vehicle

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California, USA

Science Products: 7-day, Monthly and Yearly Global Maps

Data Availability: Through PO.DAAC (NASA / JPL)