SeaWiFS provides satellite-acquired data about ocean color to the research and commercial communities.
Part of NASA's "Mission to Planet Earth," SeaWiFS records the levels of radiance reflected from the ocean in the visible wavelength (400 – 700 nm). These levels change according to the concentration of chlorophyll and other plant pigments in the water — the greater the amount of chlorophyll that is present, the more green and less blue the ocean appears. This data is used in oceanographic research, the fishing industry, marine transportation, and offshore oil and gas exploration and development.
SeaWiFS satisfies four major user requirements:
- Daily global coverage, with an active scan angle of ±58.3°
- High signal-to-noise ratio
- Very low sensor polarization sensitivity
- Data format compatible with existing 6-line-per-second High Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) receiving stations
Raytheon fabricated SeaWiFS under contract to Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC). GeoEye operates the SeaWiFS instrument on their OrbView-2 satellite, providing the research community with ocean-color data products under contract with NASA. NASA has designated SeaWiFS as an EOS Earth Probe.
SeaWiFS imagery used with permission from NASA/GeoEye