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

Ocean remote sensing applications

CALIPSO’s view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on May 2, 2010; red color indicates the location of the aerosols over the spill.CALIPSO's view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on May 2, 2010;
red color indicates the location of the aerosols over the spill.
Credit: NASA LaRC
When the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill occurred on the Gulf Coast, we realized that instruments originally designed for measuring particles in the atmosphere, such as those on the CALIPSO satellite, could see farther—into Earth’s oceans. SSAI worked with NASA scientists to study the thickness and depth of the oil in the water.

This unique, exploratory approach was improved further when we deployed aircraft, outfitted with more remote-sensing instruments, to the Gulf Coast. These research flights, focused directly over the oil spill, helped validate satellite-based measurements of the spill, improving capabilities to measure the ocean from satellites.