Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - Science and Technology with Passion

Ocean ecology laboratory

SSAI personnel prepare a Conductivity, Temperature, Depth recorder rosette for data collection.SSAI personnel prepare a
Conductivity, Temperature, Depth
recorder rosette for data collection.
Sediment, dissolved chemicals, and marine phytoplankton microorganisms affect the colors of sunlight reflected off the ocean, providing a way to monitor ocean ecosystems from orbit. SSAI provides support for Goddard Space Flight Center’s Ocean Ecology Laboratory, which conducts research on ocean ecosystems and chemical cycle interactions, and manages “ocean color” data from NASA satellite sensors.

We collect field data and perform post- field campaign laboratory and data reduction analyses used in calibration and validation of ocean color satellite sensors.  Field data sets encompass measurements of ocean apparent optical properties and inherent optical properties. We provide expertise with a number of field instruments, such as submersible and above-water radiometers, and their deployment protocols and data processing techniques. We analyze water samples collected by NASA-approved investigators for key phytoplankton pigment concentrations using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), following NASA-approved protocols. We also oversee maintenance of the HPLC system and related equipment, make recommendations on system upgrades, and work with the international community on development and promulgation of measurement protocols.