The ESA mission SMOS was planned with the aim of obtaining more precise data concerning the global water cycle. Constituents of the global hydrological cycle that can be measured with SMOS are a) the soil moisture, b) the ocean surface salinity, and c) the thin sea-ice thickness.
The validation of the sea surface salinity is very challenging because - among other reasons - a) only relatively few open ocean surface salinity measurements have been carried out and b) most open-ocean salinity measurements are carried out at depths which are too large to use the data without additional correction for the validation of satellite based (e.g. SMOS) sea surface salinity products.
The data set offers here contributes to close this gap. This data set contains sea surface salinity and temperature measurements carried out by drifters of the "Surface Current Project (SVP)". The drifters comprise a spherical float under which the measurement devices are mounted, followed by a steel cable with a drogue. The float contains the telemetry and ensures position determination via the ARGO system plus data transfer. The salinity measurements are carried out with a Seabird conductivity cell (SBE37) mounted underneath the float at an approximate depth of 0.38 m. Temperature measurements are carried out with either one (at 0.45 m depth) or two (one at 0.15 m and one at 0.45 m depth) thermistors - depending on type of the drifter. For details of the sensor, deployment locations (two regions only: Northeast Atlantic, Southwest Pacific), processing and quality analysis we refer to the technical report.
This data set was included into the ICDC data repository on June 3, 2016.