Mission Status & Events

PI Announcement to Science Team and Broader Science Community
[18-Jun-15] Friends and Collegues, Estimados amigos y colegas,

With much regret and sense of loss for our science, we announce that the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite had a mission-ending failure related to the power supply electronics, on Sunday June 7th, 12:53:17 UTC. The failure led to the loss of several key systems needed to control the satellite. After working diligently to analyze the anomaly and find solutions, the operations team concluded that the system is not recoverable, and declared that this was the end of the mission.

The failure came just a few days before the 4th anniversary of the Aquarius/SAC-D launch (June 10, 2011). Attached below are NASA and CONAE press releases, which provide more information about the anomaly and the many successes of the mission.

The Aquarius sea surface salinity data record extends for more than three years and nine months (25 Aug 2011 - 7 Jun 2015), and can serve as a foundation for continuing observations from the SMOS and SMAP missions.

Reprocessing and documentation of the entire Aquarius record are presently underway, and we anticipate releasing the next version (4.0) within a month. V4.0 corrects most of the systematic latitude bias that was seen in earlier versions. Eventually, we expect to develop added improvements to the algorithm, and will issue subsequent reprocessed versions as appropriate.

The Aquarius project is now undertaking a task to generate salinity data files from the NASA SMAP mission, which was launched in late January 2015. The SMAP salinity data will be generated from the same core algorithm as Aquarius, and be distributed in a similar manner. Our goal is to make the Aquarius and SMAP salinity data sets as seamless as possible, and provide uninterrupted data continuity between the missions.

Best regards to all, Un cálido saludo para todos,

Gary Lagerloef and Sandra Torrusio
Aquarius and SAC-D Principal Investigators

International Spacecraft Carrying NASA's Aquarius Instrument Ends Operations
SAC-D Aquarius: Los Logros de una Exitosa Misión Satelital Argentina