ships4sst: FRM4SST Phase 2 Project Tasks

This page lists the ships4sst: FRM4SST Phase 2 project tasks along with a short description of each task. If you would like further information, or to contact a task manager, please see contact details on our Partners page


Task 1

Maintain the International SST FRM Radiometer Network (ISFRN)

Work Package 10 and 11

Task Manager: Ruth Wilson, SCL

Task 1 covers the work undertaken to collaborate with the international community, this includes the evolution and maintenance of the ships4sst website and the promotion of the ISFRN. Outreach is encouraged through the presentation of the SST validation activities at international conferences (e.g. GHRSST, Living Planet) with the aim of encouraging more groups to join the network and contribute match-ups from new regions. Opportunities to contribute to journals, magazines and other media are also investigated.

The planning, implementation and reporting of the ISFRN workshop also falls under task 1. The aim of the workshop is to bring together scientific and operational users and producers of in situ radiometer SST data to review progress, achievements and potential developments within the radiometer community. The workshops are open to anyone actively involved and/or interested in SST science and the use of in situ radiometers. A link to the 2020 workshop can be found here.  

The ships4sst: FRM4SST science leader presents the results of the project at conferences and meetings and a number of papers are in preparation for publication.


Task 2

Maintain shipborne SST data collection, processing and analysis of satellite validation activities

Work Packages 20 - 24

Task Managers: Werenfrid Wimmer (UoS), Tim Nightngale (RAL), Jacob Hoeyer (DMI)

Task 2 encompasses several work packages based on the collection and archiving of in situ SSTskin FRM data, as well as the processing and validation analysis of SST skin data obtained through both in situ and satellite measurements.

The UoS ISAR is deployed on the Brittany Ferry Pont Aven which sails several routes between the English Channel and Bay of Biscay. The DMI ISAR deployments on Smyril Line’s M/S Norröna ferry obtain FRM SSTskin observations from mid to high latitude ocean waters, namely in the North Sea and North Atlantic between Denmark, the Faroe Island and Iceland. The SISTeR instrument, owned by RAL Space, provides “round-the-world” SSTskin data from its deployments on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 liner. See the deployments page for visualisation of these deployment routes and the latest updates. Each radiometer is calibrated before and after each deployment to FRM standards via a fully SI traceable calibration blackbody (CASOTS2, Donlon et al 2014) following FRM4STS and CEOS QA4EO principles.

The data archive is hosted at Ifremer and is accessible from the members page, once you have an account. All partners (UoS, RAL Space and DMI) will store their ISFRN L2R data files at the archive once they become available, which is normally after the post-deployment calibration. Non-project partners who collect data to ISFRN standard can also submit and store their data in ISFRN L2R format in the archive.

Task 2 also covers the data processing to ISFRN L2R format that is carried out by each deployment team in accordance with the data specification and user manual. The radiometer data, including uncertainties, are submitted in ISFRN L2R format to the data archive at Ifremer and accessible via the ships4sst website, alongside the Felyx MDB files showing the satellite EO data used for validation. The ISFRN L2R data specification and user manual is also stored on the same access page as the data. The dataset format is netCDF so no specially designed code is needed to read each dataset.

The SLSTR validation match-up database (MDB) is produced by the ESA Felyx tool at Ifremer. This MDB is processed to a number of match-up windows (Wimmer et. al. 2012) with match-up statistics, and validation plots of location, temperature difference, latitude and wind speed dependence and uncertainty comparison are produced. Due to the usage of Felyx as an MDB generator, only data fields produced by Felyx are considered for validation. The main focus of this validation is on SLSTR level 2 SST products and results.

Figure 1: ships4sst archive L2R data plotted as SST on a world map (October 2020)

Task 3

Implement a comparison of TIR and MW radiometer measurements at sea

Work Package 30

Task Manager: Jacob Hoeyer, DMI

Task 3 continues on from Task 7 of Phase 1 of the FRM4SST project which began in July 2020. This focused on the preparation of radiometers and protocols with the aim of conducting a short demonstration land-based experiment with simultaneous deployment of thermal infrared (TIR) and microwave (MW) radiometers. The demonstration took place in January 2021 and showed promising results (see news page for details). Task 3 revolves around the implementation of a shipborne inter-comparison experiment between Denmark and Iceland with simultaneous deployment of thermal Infrared and microwave radiometers, measuring at sea. The campaign will focus upon the differences and similarities between SSTskin and SSTsubskin to support the integration of Infrared and microwave satellite observations. The results from this work package will be presented in a journal article at the end of Phase 2.

Figure 2: A microwave radiometer in the lab at the Danish Technical University (DTU)


Task 4

Design, plan, implement and report a CEOS Infrared Radiometer inter-comparison 

Work Package 40

Task Manager: Nigel Fox, NPL

Task 4 continues the work started in task 6 of Phase 1 in 2020. NPL join the consortium to lead the planning, hosting and reporting of an CEOS TIR radiometer and associated reference blackbody inter-comparison exercise which is due to take place in Spring 2022. NPL bring with them the experience of working alongside ESA during the 2016 CEOS TIR inter-comparison exercise. After reviewing lessons learned from 2016 it has been decided that the field exercise will be held at a Pier within the UK (location TBC) and will be organised by UoS. Following all the comparisons, laboratory and field, NPL will collate and carry out a full analysis of the results which will be published in the form of reports and papers.


Task 5

Management and Reporting

Work Packages 50 - 51

Task Manager: Ruth Wilson, SCL

Task 5 encompasses all the aspects of project management and reporting, including the scheduling and chairing of meetings, and runs continuously for the duration of the project. A number of deliverables are due from task 5 including, the service roadmap, technical data package and a final report. The final report will highlight all the activities conducted during the project and will include lessons learned, knowledge and tools developed during the project and show how outcomes of the project could translate into future activities.

The CIP is also maintatined under task 5 and is provided as an online set of webpages across the ships4sst website. It covers a broad range of information including, campaign management and planning approach, schedule of deployments, protocols and procedures, and information pertaining to the instruments themselves. The risk log (CARL) is stored online and tracks the risks that the project may face in meeting its goals and proposes mitigation strategies to minimise them.