RSS SMAP Salinity V4

View the latest change in SMAP data processing and access information on previous versions. MORE »

Sensing Salinity

Measuring salinity is no easy feat. NASA satellites that measure salinity need to take into account a variety of factors that can disturb the desired signal, including the ocean itself, the atmosphere, and beyond! Explore how salinity is measured from space and the sources of error that complicate these sensitive measurements. MORE »

Aquarius Retrieval

Aquarius sensed energy emitted from the ocean surface, which is measured as an equivalent "brightness" temperature in Kelvin. To achieve the mission's science goals, Aquarius detected change in brightness temperature of about 0.1 Kelvin. This was achieved by careful instrument design (e.g., thermal control), data averaging, and avoidance and/or mitigation of contamination sources such as radiation from the Sun. The elements outlined below are key to making this very challenging measurement possible. MORE »

Aquarius Processing

Version 5 (V5) is the official end-of-mission dataset, spanning the complete 45-month period of Aquarius science data availability from 25-Aug-11 to 07-Jun-15. Improving the accuracy of Aquarius measurements has been a key activity to ensure that the data are most useful for science and society. Scientists and engineers have worked together to test and refine algorithms – or step-by-step procedures for calculations – used to process Aquarius's ocean surface salinity data. V5 data represents the state-of-the-art in remote sensing of salinity and, although the Aquarius Project has ended, the raw data are available and plans exist to continue working on improvements. MORE »


View maps created using Aquarius and SMAP data.


The videos and resources on our tutorials page offer guidance for accessing and visualizing salinity data from the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC). Datasets for SMAP and Aquarius are available for download on the PO.DAAC website.


The archive of record for NASA Salinity archived data products is NASA's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC), located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition to the Level-1a orbital source data products, Level 2 orbital swath data and Level 3 gridded salinity products are available. MORE »