• Seasat: Newly Digitized 1978 Imagery
• Sea Ice: Science Topic
• Finding Ocean Debris, ASF News & Notes
Oceans supply more than half the oxygen in the atmosphere, are the planet's largest carbon sink, influence weather, are critical source of food and minerals, serve as highways for ships, and draw people to their beaches and waters. Yet scientists have only begun to explore the world’s oceans, which cover more than two thirds of the planet.
Oceans Through Remote Sensing
Remote sensing offers important methods of detecting oceans’ secrets. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR), used to create the majority of the imagery available in the ASF archive, is among the power tools of remote sensing and is contributing significantly to ocean science. SAR bounces a microwave radar signal off the Earth's surface to detect physical properties. Unlike optical technology, SAR can "see" through darkness, clouds, and rain. SAR is providing scientists with information about the oceans’ varied ice cover and on hydrodynamic processes such as surface and internal waves, fronts, eddies, wind, and storms.
Seasat: Newly Digitized 1978 Imagery See Seasat
The scientific value of Seasat’s SAR is extensive, providing unique and unexpected views of the dynamic ocean surface and sea ice cover.