During the past week, the Aquarius instrument has continued operating in normal science mode, with all radiometer and radar channels performing well. There have been a couple of orbit maneuvers during the week, which caused brief data interruptions while the satellite was not in the normal earth pointing mode. The Aquarius sensors remained on, but were pointing off in the wrong direction during these intervals.
The data continue to look excellent. The Aquarius Data Processing System (ADPS) group at Goddard implemented the updates that make up Version 1.1 of the code, and reprocessed all the existing data. The calibration/validation working group assessed the results this week, and today decided that there are no evident problems with the processing code. We still plan to start releasing the data to the science team toward the end of next week.
We continue to work closely with NASA and JPL media relations personnel to issue a press release with a "first light" global salinity map by the middle to late next week, coordinated with the release of the Version 1.1 evaluation data. This image will be a composite of the first 17 days of data since the instrument became fully operational on August 25. Right now, I can say that I am very pleased with the data quality and am grateful to the members of the calibration working group and data processing team who have worked diligently over the past few weeks to get us to this stage.
Until next Friday, best regards to all.