The Orbview 2 satellite (also called SeaStar) was launched in 1 August 1997. It carries NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). The purpose of the SeaWiFS Project is to provide quantitative data on global ocean bio-optical properties to the Earth science community. The sensor is designed to observe subtle changes in ocean color, and to derive from these measurements various biological indicators (such as the chlorophyll concentration distribution in the ocean) and other useful scientific products.

The satellite is operated by Orbital Science Corporation (OSC). NASA has contracted with OSC to provide, for five years, the raw satellite data for research purposes. OSC owns the data rights for operational and commercial purposes.

The SeaWiFS Project team has developed algorithms for deriving various ocean parameters such as the sea surface chlorophyll distribution.

Orbview 2 Orbit

Type Sun-Synchronous
Altitude 705 km
Inclination 98.2 deg
Period 99 min
Repeat Cycle 16 days

SeaWiFS Wavelength Bands

BandWavelength (nm)Resolution (km)
1402-422 (blue)1.13
2433-453 (blue)1.13
3480-500 (blue)1.13
4500-520 (green)1.13
5545-565 (green)1.13
6660-680 (red)1.13
7745-785 (near IR)1.13
8845-885 (near IR)1.13

Link to: SeaWiFS Project Home Page (http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEAWIFS.html)

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Copyright CRISP, 2001