NASA and CNES, along with our Canadian and UK space agency partners, are developing a mission to make the first global survey of Earth's surface water. The SWOT mission, with its wide swath altimetry technology, will be able to cover most of the world's ocean and freshwater bodies with repeated high-resolution elevation measurements, providing observations of fine details of the ocean's surface topography, and measuring how water bodies change over time. The SWOT Applications Working Group (SAWG) supports the SWOT Early Adopters community to incorporate future SWOT data and information products into their activities.

NASA's Applied Sciences Program, along with the SWOT project team, are implementing a strategy that promotes applications research and engages a broad community of users in the uses of SWOT data. This mission is being developed in response to recommendations of the National Research Council Decadal Survey report (Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, Space Studies Board, National Academies Press, 2007). There is a developing need for the applied science community of practice to become part of the flight mission development process, from inception through launch and operations. The end goal is to integrate this community that will eventually utilize science and data products in addressing societal issues and needs.

SWOT User Survey 1.0 ›

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Goals of the SWOT Applications Program

The goals for the applications program include:

  • Promote the use of SWOT products to a community of end-users and decision makers that understand SWOT and related mission capabilities and are interested in using SWOT data products in their application.
  • Facilitate feedback between SWOT user communities and the SWOT project.
  • Provide information on collaborations with different types of users and communities including those of ocean research, ice and drought studies, agricultural impacts, operational oceanography, and others.
  • Design communication strategies to target and support requirements of the user community.

View technical information about SWOT science and capabilities. Visit the CNES Applications page on the AVISO web site. Visit the Canadian Space Agency Applications page.

Key Resources

Applications Working Group

The SWOT Applications Working Group (SAWG) is comprised of key applications-focused Project and science team members, as well as interested operational users and others with interests in applied remote sensing data for hydrology and oceanography applications. The SAWG will coordinate on SWOT applications activities and participate in applications-focused discussions, workshops and sessions at appropriate meetings. The working group will develop a SWOT Applications Plan, conduct applications workshops and tutorials, and coordinate engagement of SWOT applications early adopters. Learn more about Early Adopters ›

The SAWG will be formed in order to develop plans for SWOT applications and identify early adopters and future potential users of SWOT data. The working group will have the following objectives:

  • Assess current applications benefits and requirements for SWOT data products.
  • Develop a community of end-users that understand SWOT capabilities and are interested in using SWOT data products for their application.
  • Target partners who can work with the SWOT project during the pre-launch period, particularly to assess impacts on their applications and data product formulation.
  • Provide information about SWOT to a broad user community.
  • SAWG activities will be carried out through public workshops, email and personal interactions.

The working group will develop a SWOT Applications Plan, conduct applications workshops and tutorials, and coordinate engagement of future SWOT Applications Early Adopters. View a list of the current members (PDF, 46 KB) of the SWOT Applications Working Group.



The Early Adopter Program for the Surface Water Ocean Topography Satellite Mission
(2020) Hossain, F., Bonnema, M., Srinivasan, M., Beighley, E., Andral, A., Doorn, B., Jayaluxmi, I., Jayasinghe, S., Kaheil, Y., Fatima, B., Elmer, N., Fenoglio, L., Bales, J., Lefevre, F., Legrand, S., Brunel, D., and Le Traon, P-Y.

Engineering Applications of the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) Satellite Mission
(2019) Hossain, F.

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Preparing for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission: Engaging the User Community
(2019) Beighley, E., Srinivasan, M., Andral, A., and Hossain, F.

Putting Satellite Maps of Surface Water to Practical Use
(2017) Hossain, F., Andral, A., and Srinivasan, M.

Engaging the User Community for Advancing Societal Applications of the Surface Water Ocean Topography Mission
(2017), Hossain, F., et al.

Inferring Reservoir Operating Patterns Across the Mekong Basin Using Only Space Observations
(2017), Bonnema, M. and Hossain, F.

A Global Capacity Building Vision for Societal Applications of Earth Observing Systems and Data: Key Questions and Recommendations
(2016), Hossain, F., et al.

Understanding Satellite-based Monthly-to-Seasonal Reservoir Outflow Estimation as a Function of Hydrologic Controls
(2016), Bonnema, M., Sikder, S., Mao, Y., Chen, X., Hossain, F., Pervin, I.A., Rahman, S.M.M., and Lee, H.

A Review of Applications of Satellite Earth Observation Data for Global Societal Benefit and Stewardship of Planet Earth
(2016), Kansakar, P. and Hossain, F.

Improving NASA’s Earth Observation Systems and Data Programs Through the Engagement of Mission Early Adopters
(2016), Escobar, V.M., Srinivasan, M., and Arias, S.D.

Benchmarking Wide Swath Altimetry Based River Discharge Estimation Algorithms for the Ganges River System
(2016), Bonnema, M., Sikder, S., Hossain, F., Bjerklie, D., Durand M., and Gleason, C.

Earth Science Satellite Applications: Current and Future Prospects
(2016), Hossain, F. (ed.).

Engaging the Applications Community of the Future Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission
(2015), Srinivasan, M., Andral, A., Dejus, M., Hossain, F., Peterson, C., Beighley, E., Pavelsky, T., Chao, Y., Doorn, B., Bronner, E., and Houpert, L.

SWOT Data Assimilation for Operational Reservoir Management on the Upper Niger River Basin
(2015), Munier, S., Polebistki, A., Brown, G., Belaud, G., and Lettenmaier, D.

Mission Applications Support at NASA: SWOT
(2013), Srinivasan, M., Peterson, C., and Callahan, P.

Meeting Presentations and Posters

SWOT Application Working Group Report (2017-2018)
(2018), Andral, A., Srinivasan, M., Beighley, E., and Hossain, F.

Advancing Early Adopters to Assess Future SWOT Mission Data Utility - Poster
(2018), Srinivasan, M.M., Hossain, F., Beighley, E., Peterson, C.A., and Andral, A.

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Second SWOT Application Workshop Report
(2017), Hossain, F., Andral, A., Srinivasan, M., Peterson, C., and Beighley, E.

Pre-Launch Assesment of User Needs for SWOT Mission Data Products
(2016), Srinivasan, M.

(2016), Srinivasan, M., Peterson, C., Andral, A., Dejus, M., Hossain, F., and Beighley, E.

SAWG Meeting
(2015), Srinivasan, M., Peterson, C., Andral, A., and Dejus, M.

(2014), Srinivasan, M.

Applications Activities for NASA Flight Missions
(2011), Alsdorf, D. and Srinivasan, M.


SWOT Early Adopters Guide
(2018) This guide lays out the fundamentals of the Early Adopters program for SWOT.

1st SWOT Applications User Workshop - Summary Report
(2015) This first SWOT users' workshop was an opportunity for early engagement of key user organizations (USGS, NOAA, Navy, MERCATOR, etc.).

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3rd SWOT Applications User Workshop - Summary Report
(2017) The 3rd application workshop was organized by the SWOT Applications Working Group (SAWG) to explore how best to maximize the user-readiness of SWOT data after its 2021 launch.

SWOT Applications Plan
(2014) This Plan outlines the applications-oriented Project and international partner efforts which are planned for the SWOT mission, outlines an approach to engaging the SWOT and AirSWOT end user community, and describes the methods to be used to achieve a successful and relevant program.

Mission Applications Support at NASA: Surface Water and Ocean Topography Mission
(2012) The NASA Applied Sciences Program is actively supporting an agency-wide effort to formalize a mission-level data applications approach. The program goal is to engage early-phase NASA Earth satellite mission project teams with applied science representation in the flight mission planning process.