Vol. 21: The Heritage of SeaWiFS: A Retrospective on the CZCS NIMBUS Experiment Team (NET) Program

SeaWiFS Pre-Launch Technical Report Series


cker, J.G., 1994: The Heritage of SeaWiFS: A Retrospective on the CZCS NIMBUS Experiment Team (NET) Program. NASA Tech. Memo. 104566, Vol. 21, S.B. Hooker and E.R. Firestone, Eds., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, 44 pp., (in press).


The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) mission is based on the scientific heritage of the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS), a proof-of-concept instrument carried on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) NIMBUS-7 environmental satellite for the purpose of measuring upwelling radiance from the ocean surface. The CZCS mission provided the first observations of ocean color from space, and over the mission lifetime of 1978?1986, allowed oceanographers an initial opportunity to observe the variable patterns of global biological productivity. One of the key elements of the CZCS mission was the formation of the CZCS NIMBUS Experiment Team (NET), a group of optical physicists and biological oceanographers. The CZCS NET was designated to validate the accuracy of the CZCS radiometric measurements and to connect the instrument's measurements to standard measures of oceanic biological productivity and optical seawater clarity. In the period following the cessation of CZCS observations, some of the insight and experience gained by the CZCS NET activity has dissipated as several proposed follow-on sensors failed to achieve active status. The SeaWiFS mission will be the first dedicated orbital successor to CZCS; it in turn precedes observations by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) of the Earth Observing System (EOS). Since the CZCS NET experience is an important model for SeaWiFS and MODIS surface truth efforts, this document is intended to provide a comprehensive review of the validation of oceanographic data for the first orbital ocean color sensor mission. This document also summarizes the history of the CZCS NET activities. The references listed in the Bibliography are a listing of published scientific research which relied upon the CZCS NET algorithms, or research which was conducted on the basis of CZCS mission elements.

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