Mission Completed
SEASAT data selectively available in atlas form. See for listed sources.
contact to determine if access to product data other than in atlas form is currently available
Satellite Instruments
In 1978, JPL built an experimental satellite called Seasat to test a variety of oceanographic sensors including imaging radar, altimeters, radiometers and scatterometers. Science instruments: Radar altimeter, scanning multichannel microwave radiometer, microwave scatterometer, imaging radar, visual and infrared radiometer
Physical Oceanography DAAC
Help Desk Seasat source data and altimetry, scatterometry, and SMMR, and VIRR ocean data products
National Snow and Ice Data Center
Seasat Ice Data Products
Measurment TypeMicrowave-radar-scatterometer
Platform TypeSEASAT
OrbitSun synchronous
Spectral CoverageL-band
Scan PatternCross track
VariablesOcean -height, temperature, wind, SAR
Repeat Time24 Days
Wavelength1.275 to Ghznm
Number of BandsSAR 1.275 Ghz, SMMR 5 bands-6.63-37.0Ghz, VIRR 0.49-0.94 um and 10.5-12.5um
Start DateJun 1978
End DateOct 1978
Temporal Coverage
Swath Width100 for SAR, 600km for SMMR, 100km for winds
Resolution 1SASS instrument, 50 km nominal pulse footprintkm
Resolution 2Radar altimeter, pulse footprint ranges from 1.2 to 12 km depending on sea-state; 1.2 km for calm seas and 12 km for very rough seaskm
Resolution 3SMMR, 60 km nominal footprintkm
Resolution 4VIRR, instantaneous field of view (IFOV) between 2-5 km, Resolution 5: SAR, 25 m
Atlas, R., A.J. Busalacchi, M. Ghil, S. Bloom, and E. Kalnay, 1987. Global surface wind and flux fields from model assimilation of Seasat data, Journal of Geophysical Research , 92, pp. 6477-6487. Boggs, D. H.,1982. Seasat Scatterometer Geophysical Data Record (GDR) Users Handbook, JPL Document D-129, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. Chelton, D.B., M.H. Freilich, and J.R. Johnson, 1989. Evaluation of unambiguous vector winds from the Seasat scatterometer, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 6, pp. 1024-1039. Chelton, D.B., A.M. Mestas-Nunez, and M.H. Freilich, 1990. Global wind stress and Sverdrup circulation from the Seasat Scatterometer, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 20, pp. 1175-1205. Schroeder, L.C., D.H. Boggs, G.J. Dome, I.M. Halberstam, W.L. Jones, W.J. Pierson, and F.W. Wentz, 1982. The relationship between wind vector and normalized radar cross section used to derive Seasat-A satellite scatterometer winds, Journal of Geophysical Research , 87, pp. 3318-3336.
Seasat was the first Earth-orbiting satellite specifically designed and tasked for the remote sensing of Earth’s oceans. Through NASA sponsorship, JPL managed and operated Seasat, which was launched on June 28, 1978. Seasat carried a payload of five scientific instruments, including the first satellite-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Other instruments included a radar altimeter (ALT), Seasat-A satellite scatterometer (SASS), scanning multichannel microwave radiometer (SMMR), and the visible/infrared radiometer (VIRR). This array of scientific instruments enabled measurements of sea surface wind velocity, land and sea surface topography, ocean surface salinity, ocean surface gravity waves, land and sea ice, and sea surface temperature. Seasat was in continuous operation for 106 days and served as the precursor to many of NASA’s later missions including Nimbus-7, Topex/Poseidon, NSCAT, QuikSCAT, Jason1, OSTM/Jason2, and the SARs which flew aboard NASA’s many Space Shuttle missions.
15 Sep 2009 09:07