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Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS)

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Status: Completed
Mission Category: Other
Launch Date: August 1, 1997
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
Designed Life: August 1, 2012
Actual Completion Date: December 11, 2010

The purpose of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) mission was to provide quantitative data on global ocean bio-optical properties to the Earth science community. OrbView-2 (OV-2—formerly known as SeaStar) was the satellite system, developed by Orbital Science Corporation, that carried SeaWiFS. Subtle changes in ocean color signify various types and quantities of marine phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), the knowledge of which has both scientific and practical applications.

Key Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 705km
Inclination: 98.2°
Local Node:Approximate time, at the equator when vehicle is directly overhead. 12:00 noon
Instruments: SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor)

Related Publications:

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Carbon Cycle, Ecosystems, and Biogeochemistry
  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Water and Energy Cycles

Science Goals:

  • The purpose of SeaWiFS data is to examine oceanic factors that affect global change and to assess the oceans’ role in the global carbon cycle, as well as other biogeochemical cycles. The SeaWiFS project aims to obtain accurate ocean color data from the world’s oceans, to process these data in conjunction with ancillary data into meaningful biological parameters, such as photosynthesis rates, and to make these data readily available to researchers.

Related Applications:

  • Carbon Management
  • Coastal Management