Developing a successful Ocean Surface Current Mission (OSCM) proposal for ESA Earth Explorer 9

National Oceanographic Centre

Project Funded in the CEOI-ST EO9 Call for Mission and Technology Studies in preparation for future ESA Earth Explorer Missions

Fast Track Project

The project focuses on the development and preparation of an Ocean Surface Current mission as a candidate to the ESA Earth Explorer 9 Call for missions. The OSC mission seeks to deliver high-resolution wide-swath synoptic maps of total ocean surface currents from space to improve the parameterisations of oceanic mesoscale and sub-mesoscale dynamics and provide global mapping of total ocean surface currents. The primary products consist of total ocean surface current vectors, ocean wind vectors and directional ocean swell spectra over 2 x 100 km swaths with challenging requirements on spatial resolution (1 km or finer) and accuracy (5 cm/s). The proposed work consists of scientific and technical activities aimed at increasing the Science Readiness Levels of the mission and the maturity of the technical solution. Mission preparation activities include the demonstration of how observational requirements are achieved with the proposed technical concept, while technical activities focus on reviewing possible science/mission trade-offs and options for mission cost-reduction in the event of a possible reduced EE9 funding envelope.