After a four-year development effort, the Goddard Space Flight Center delivered the Aquarius radiometer to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for integration with the Aquarius instrument.
Aquarius/SAC-D is an international mission involving NASA and Argentina's space agency, ComisÃn Nacional de Actividades Espaciales. Aquarius, the primary instrument on the mission, was built jointly by JPL and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. It will provide monthly global maps of how the concentration of dissolved salt (known as salinity) varies on the ocean surface. Salinity is a key tracer for understanding the ocean's role in Earth's water cycle and understanding ocean circulation.
By measuring ocean salinity from space, Aquarius will provide new insights into how the massive natural interplay of freshwater moving among the ocean, atmosphere and sea ice influences Earth's ocean circulation, weather and climate.
For more information on Aquarius, visit http://www.aquarius.nasa.gov.