RSS SMAP Level 3 Sea Surface Salinity Version 4.0 Validated Release Monthly

The version 4.0 SMAP-SSS level 3, monthly gridded product is based on the fourth release of the validated standard mapped sea surface salinity (SSS) data from the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, produced operationally by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) with a one-month latency. Enhancements with this release include: use of an improved 0.125 degree land correction table with land emission based on SMAP TB; replacement of the previous NCEP sea-ice mask with one based on RSS AMSR-2 and implementing a sea-ice threshold of 0.3% (gain weighted sea-ice fraction); revised solar flagging that depends on glint angle and wind speed; inclusion of estimated SSS-uncertainty; consolidation of both 40KM and 70KM SMAP-SSS datasets as variable fields in a single data product. Monthly data files for this product are averages over one-month time intervals. SMAP data begins on April 1,2015 and is ongoing, with a one-month latency in processing and availability. L3 products are global in extent and gridded at 0.25degree x 0.25degree with a default spatial feature resolution of approximately 70KM. Note that while a SSS 40KM variable is also included in the product, for most open ocean applications, the default SSS variable (70KM) is best used as they are significantly less noisy than the 40KM data. The SMAP satellite is in a near-polar orbit at an inclination of 98 degrees and an altitude of 685 km. It has an ascending node time of 6 pm and is sun-synchronous. With its 1000km swath, SMAP achieves global coverage in approximately 3 days, but has an exact orbit repeat cycle of 8 days. On board instruments include a highly sensitive L-band radiometer operating at 1.41GHz and an L-band 1.26GHz radar sensor providing complementary active and passive sensing capabilities. Malfunction of the SMAP scatterometer on 7 July, 2015, has necessitated the use of collocated wind speed, primarily from WindSat, for the surface roughness correction required for the surface salinity retrieval.

SMAP-SSS V4.0 Technical Guide (ATBD, Validation Analysis, Product Format Specification)
Dynamically updated RSS webpage listing L2 files with missing ancillary data inputs
Dynamically updated RSS webpage listing L2 files with Bad Orbits

Meissner, T. and F. J. Wentz, 2019: Remote Sensing Sytems SMAP Ocean Surface Salinities, Version 4.0 validated release. Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, CA, USA.

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). 2019. RSS SMAP Level 3 Sea Surface Salinity Standard Mapped Image Monthly V4.0 Validated Dataset. Ver. 4.0. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at

Number of observations for L3 average of SSS smoothed to approx 70km resolution, Number of observations for L3 average of SSS at 40km resolution, sea surface salinity (1e-3), estimated empirical uncertainty of SMAP sea surface salinity smoothed to approx 70km resolution, SMAP sea surface salinity at 40km resolution [1e-3], reference sea surface salinity from hycom (1e-3), Average land fraction weighted by antenna gain, average land fraction within 3dB contour, average sea ice fraction (weighted by antenna gain), ancillary sea surface temperature (from cmc) (kelvin)
Zonal Global by 0.25 deg
Meridional Global by 0.25 deg
Vertical Surface
Temporal Apr 2015 to near present by 1 month
Volume ~7MB per month
Acquired September 4, 2019
APDRC contact
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