NASA satellite captures an unprecedented view of the coast

On Monday (30), NASA released data collected from the first 21-day scientific orbit of the SWOT satellite (acronym in English for Topography of Surface Waters and Oceans). The mission is a collaboration between American and French agencies.

What you will read here:

  • NASA and the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) (the French space agency) jointly operate the SWOT satellite;
  • This aircraft aims to monitor the world’s surface water, monitor the topography of the surface of the ocean and measure the changes in the body of water over time;
  • The device was launched in December 2022 into the lower world, with a planned operation period of three years;
  • The data collected by SWOT between July 26th and August 16th made it possible to create a video that shows the disparity in the height of the sea above the earth’s surface.

Differences in the world’s oceans

A video posted by NASA on YouTube shows that the surface of the oceans around the world is uneven. The orange and red colors represent the areas where the water is the highest, and the blue colors, where it is lower than the average.

Map created from data collected by SWTO satellite

These differences can be explained by ocean currents, such as the Gulf, which runs from the east coast of the United States to the North Atlantic, and the Kuroshio current, which runs off the coast sea ​​of ​​Japan. Eastern Equatorial Pacific during El Niño. The result heats the water in this area, making it expand and become higher.

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According to a NASA statement, the data was collected with the Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) sensor, which consists of two antennas spaced 10 meters apart. Together, they create a pair of data swaths as the satellite orbits Earth, bouncing radar pulses off the water’s surface to record altitude measurements.

The content that SWOT conveys at sea level around the world is incredible. The data will advance research on the effects of climate change and help communities around the world better prepare for global warming.

Parag Vaze, SWOT project manager, in a NASA statement.

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