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Sensitivity analysis of bias in satellite sea surface temperature measurements

The satellite sea surface temperature (SST) measurement is based on the detection of ocean radiation using microwave or infrared wavelengths within the electromagnetic spectrum. The radiance of individual wavelengths can be converted into brightness temperatures for using in SST determination. The calibration and validation of the determined SST data require reference measurements from in-situ observations. These in-situ observations are from various platforms such as ships, drifters, floats and mooring buoys and require a high measurement accuracy. This paper presents an investigation about the possibility of using a glider as in-situ platform. A glider is a type of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) which can log oceanographic data over a period of up to one year by following predetermined routes. In contrast to buoys, a glider allows a targeted investigation of regional anomalies in SST circulations. To assess the quality of SST observations from a glider, logged data from a glider mission in the Atlantic Ocean from 2018 to 2019 and corresponding satellite SST data were used. The influence of variables (e.g. measurement depth, latitude, view zenith angle, local solar time) of the bias between satellite and glider SST data was investigated using sensitivity analysis. A new and efficient distribution-based method for global sensitivity analyzes, called PAWN, was used successfully. Interested readers will find information about its operation principle and the usage for passive observations where only “given-data” are available.

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