Conceived as a major new tool for climate studies, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission will launch in 2023. SWOT sea surface height measurements can help retrieve the dynamics of the upper ocean at an unprecedented O(10km) resolution. SWOT surface maps are expected to have a resolution roughly one order of magnitude finer than what is now available with conventional satellite altimetry. This improvement in resolution is expected to be groundbreaking for several key ocean questions, including the energy budget, the connection between surface and internal dynamics, biogeochemistry and biodiversity, and the dynamics at the ice margin.
Adopt-A-Crossover (AdAC) Consortium
The best way to exploit SWOT data will be in synergy with in situ observations. Endorsed by CLIVAR in 2019, the SWOT Adopt-A-Crossover Consortium is an initiative of the SWOT Science Team to assist future oceanographic in situ experiments relying on SWOT and to assure that SWOT data are interpreted and exploited in the best possible way. The Consortium is led by a Steering Group mostly from the SWOT Science Team but membership is open to anybody (see Apply). The Consortium focuses (but is not restricted to) ocean areas where the SWOT ascending and descending tracks will cross, providing higher temporal resolution: the crossovers. The revisit frequency at crossovers will be maximal (twice per day) during the six months of calibration and validation (CalVal) phase in 2022-2023. Three of these months (March-May 2023) will be scientifically exploitable. During this phase, the satellite will fly on a 1-day-repeat orbit with enhanced temporal resolution (although sacrificing the spatial coverage).
Actions and support of the AdAC Consortium
The AdAC Consortium will provide to anybody interested in ocean finescale experiments a direct link with the SWOT Science Team. The Consortium acts as a forum for sharing information on how to interpret future SWOT data and for designing SWOT-compliant experimental protocols. Members of the Consortium will also have access to experimental, multisatellite, high resolution products that NASA and CNES are developing for matching the needs of experimental studies at SWOT scales. The Consortium is also the place to discuss and promote conference special sessions, journal special issues, and collaborations on ocean finescale experiments and new technologies. The Consortium will not provide financial support.