Comparison of Sea Surface Temperatures Obtained from an Aircraft Using Remote and Direct Sensing Techniques

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
  • | 2 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093
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Abstract

A comparison of sea surface temperatures is made between aircraft precision radiation thermometer (PRT-5) and aircraft deployed expendable bathythermographs (AXBT) drops. These observations were obtained using the NCAR King Air aircraft for an experiment in the Gulf of California during March 1984. The average difference between the sea surface temperatures reported by the first temperature observed in each AXBT drop and the PRT-5 is −0.07°C with a standard deviation of 0.57°C. The difference in temperature between the two observations increases at lower wind speeds. Based on 116 case studies, differences of 1–2°C exist between the surface and the upper meter of the ocean when wind speeds are less than 5 m s−1.

Abstract

A comparison of sea surface temperatures is made between aircraft precision radiation thermometer (PRT-5) and aircraft deployed expendable bathythermographs (AXBT) drops. These observations were obtained using the NCAR King Air aircraft for an experiment in the Gulf of California during March 1984. The average difference between the sea surface temperatures reported by the first temperature observed in each AXBT drop and the PRT-5 is −0.07°C with a standard deviation of 0.57°C. The difference in temperature between the two observations increases at lower wind speeds. Based on 116 case studies, differences of 1–2°C exist between the surface and the upper meter of the ocean when wind speeds are less than 5 m s−1.

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