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SEASTAR: A Mission to Study Ocean Submesoscale Dynamics and Small-Scale Atmosphere-Ocean Processes in Coastal, Shelf and Polar Seas
Frontiers in Marine Science
  • Christine Gommenginger, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Bertrand Chapron, Institut Francais de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer - Plouzané, France
  • Andy Hogg, Australian National University
  • Christian Buckingham, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer
  • Baylor Fox-Kemper, Brown University
  • Leif Eriksson, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Francois Soulat, Collecte Localisation Satellites
  • Clement Ubelmann, Collecte Localisation Satellites
  • Francisco Ocampo-Torres, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada
  • Bruno Buongiorno Nardelli, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • David Griffin, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Paco Lopez-Dekker, Delft University of Technology
  • Per Knudsen, Technical University of Denmark
  • Ole Andersen, Technical University of Denmark
  • Lars Stenseng, Aalborg University
  • Neil Stapleton, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Salisbury
  • William Perrie, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Nelson Violante-Carvalho, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Johannes Schulz-Stellenfleth, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht – Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • David Woolf, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
  • Jordi Isern-Fontanet, Institut de Ciencies del Mar
  • Fabrice Ardhuin, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer
  • Patrice Klein, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer
  • Alexis Mouche, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer
  • Ananda Pascual, Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats
  • Xavier Capet, Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
  • Daniele Hauser, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
  • Ad Stoffelen, Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut
  • Rosemary Morrow, Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales
  • Lotfi Aouf, Météo-France
  • Øyvind Breivik, Norwegian Meteorological Institute; University of Bergen
  • Lee-Leung Fu, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, La Cañada Flintridge, CA
  • Johnny A. Johannessen, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center
  • Yevgeny Aksenov, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Lucy Bricheno, University of Liverpool
  • Joel Hirschi, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Adrien C. H. Martin, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Adrian P. Martin, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • George Nurser, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • Jeff Polton, University of Liverpool
  • Judith Wolf, University of Liverpool
  • Harald Johnsen, Northern Research Institute
  • Alexander Soloviev, Nova Southeastern University
  • Gregg A. Jacobs, United States Naval Research Laboratory
  • Fabrice Collard, OceanDataLab
  • Steve Groom, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Vladimir Kudryavtsev, Russian State Hydrometeorological University
  • John Wilkin, Rutgers University
  • Victor Navarro, Starlab
  • Alex Babanin, The University of Melbourne
  • Matthew Martin, Met Office
  • John Siddorn, Met Office
  • Andrew Saulter, Met Office
  • Tom Rippeth, Bangor University
  • Bill Emery, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Nikolai Maximenko, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
  • Roland Romeiser, University of Miami
  • Hans Graber, University of Miami
  • Aida Alvera Azcarate, University of Liège
  • Chris W. Hughes, University of Liverpool
  • Doug Vandemark, University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • Jose da Silva, University of Porto
  • Peter Jan Van Leeuwen, University of Reading; Colorado State University
  • Alberto Naveira-Garabato, University of Southampton
  • Johannes Gemmrich, University of Victoria
  • Amala Mahadevan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Jose Marquez, Airbus Defence and Space Ltd
  • Yvonne Munro, Airbus Defence and Space Ltd
  • Sam Doody, Airbus Defence and Space Ltd
  • Geoff Burbidge, Airbus Defence and Space Ltd
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Satellite,
  • Air sea interactions,
  • Upper ocean dynamics,
  • Submesoscale,
  • Coastal,
  • Marginal ice zone,
  • Radar,
  • Along-track interferometry

High-resolution satellite images of ocean color and sea surface temperature reveal an abundance of ocean fronts, vortices and filaments at scales below 10 km but measurements of ocean surface dynamics at these scales are rare. There is increasing recognition of the role played by small scale ocean processes in ocean-atmosphere coupling, upper-ocean mixing and ocean vertical transports, with advanced numerical models and in situ observations highlighting fundamental changes in dynamics when scales reach 1 km. Numerous scientific publications highlight the global impact of small oceanic scales on marine ecosystems, operational forecasts and long-term climate projections through strong ageostrophic circulations, large vertical ocean velocities and mixed layer re-stratification. Small-scale processes particularly dominate in coastal, shelf and polar seas where they mediate important exchanges between land, ocean, atmosphere and the cryosphere, e.g., freshwater, pollutants. As numerical models continue to evolve toward finer spatial resolution and increasingly complex coupled atmosphere-wave-ice-ocean systems, modern observing capability lags behind, unable to deliver the high-resolution synoptic measurements of total currents, wind vectors and waves needed to advance understanding, develop better parameterizations and improve model validations, forecasts and projections. SEASTAR is a satellite mission concept that proposes to directly address this critical observational gap with synoptic two-dimensional imaging of total ocean surface current vectors and wind vectors at 1 km resolution and coincident directional wave spectra. Based on major recent advances in squinted along-track Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometry, SEASTAR is an innovative, mature concept with unique demonstrated capabilities, seeking to proceed toward spaceborne implementation within Europe and beyond.

Citation Information
Christine Gommenginger, Bertrand Chapron, Andy Hogg, Christian Buckingham, et al.. "SEASTAR: A Mission to Study Ocean Submesoscale Dynamics and Small-Scale Atmosphere-Ocean Processes in Coastal, Shelf and Polar Seas" Frontiers in Marine Science Vol. 6 Iss. 457 (2019) p. 1 - 7 ISSN: 2296-7745
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