Exploiting the Satellite Constellation for Sea Surface Temperature using Multi-sensor Techniques
Merchant, Christopher1; Corlett, Gary2; Embury, Owen1; Boettcher, Martin3; Donlon, Craig4
1University of Edinburgh/Reading, UNITED KINGDOM; 2University of Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM; 3Brockmann Consult, GERMANY; 4ESA, NETHERLANDS

The European Space Agency created the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) to maximize the usefulness of Earth Observations to climate science. Sea surface temperature (SST) is an essential climate variable to which satellite observations make a crucial contribution, and is one of the projects within the CCI programme. To meet the requirements of climate users, the complementary nature of different satellite sensors needs to be exploited. This has to be done while maintaining consistency and stability in the combined data record, which is not trivial. Within the SST CCI project, this has been addressed by developing a multi-sensor match-up system (MMS). The MMS is a comprehensive database of linked information extracted from full satellite and auxiliary datasets where observations match in space and time. Satellite radiances, in situ temperatures, numerical weather prediction fields and many other relevant fields are linked in the MMS. The MMS supports multiple applications in the project that help to exploit the SST constellation in an integrated way, rather than sensor-by-sensor. The applications include: harmonisation of brightness temperatures between sensors and relative to radiative transfer simulation; development and testing of SST retrieval methods; development and testing of classification techniques; product verification and product validation. The MMS will be explained, and some of these applications illustrated.