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FRM4SOC Project

Fiducial Reference Measurements

Scientists from around the world donned white jumpsuits and entered an unusual room. Inside, all furniture and walls were painted black, and very particular lamps emitted light directly into a device harnessed to a dark table. This was Laboratory Comparison Exercise 2 (LCE-2) of the FRM4SOC project lead by the European Space Agency. The goal: to quantify uncertainty of commercial ocean color radiometers for verification of satellite data.

Lead by the European Space Agency (ESA) with support from the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the FRM4SOC (Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour) project aims to catalog the quality and uncertainty of various commercial radiometers, with the intent of increasing confidence in satellite measurements of ocean color.

Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color

Sea-Bird Scientific participated alongside 13 organizations from 8 different countries, sending a set of multispectral and hyperspectral radiometers to several locations around the world for laboratory and field validation. For stage 1, dubbed Laboratory Comparison Exercise 1 (or LCE-1), Sea-Bird Scientific sent a set of OCR-200s to several calibration labs around the world for comparison data. Stage 2 (LCE-2) involved sending HyperOCRs and members of Sea-Bird’s Science team to the Estonian Space Research Centre in Tartu, Estonia for field measurements and analysis of sensor uncertainty. Here, scientists suited up in white jumpsuits for laboratory analysis in a dark room, measuring radiance and irradiance. Afterward, they took to the field, rigging radiometers aimed skyward and conducting underwater profiles for field analysis. Among the scientists participating in LCE-1 and LCE-2, researchers from Sea-Bird Scientific were the sole participants from an instrument manufacturer. 

September 1, 2018

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