84 Documents

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Mission & Orbit

SWOT Calibration / Validation Plan (Initial Release)
[2018] This document provides the scope of planned Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val) activities for the SWOT Mission. It contains an overview of the objectives of Cal/Val work, details of planned Cal/Val activities, and provides the organizational context for how the work will be undertaken.
SWOT Project Mission Performance and Error Budget
[2017] This document presents the top-down error budget for the SWOT mission and its ability to meet the scientific requirements. It includes all the different systems and subsystems that have a significant contribution to the overall performance of the mission. It is structured in several parts corresponding to the key error contributions for both oceanography and hydrology, with a discussion of the main contributors to the global performance: Flight System, Payload and Payload Instruments, S/C bus, Algorithms, and Mission System. The error budget presented in this document forms the basis for the performance requirements for the SWOT Mission levied across all these elements
SWOT Science Requirements Document
[2018] The SWOT mission is a partnership between two communities, physical oceanography and hydrology, to share high vertical accuracy and high spatial resolution topography data produced by payload configuration, whose principal instrument is the Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) for making swath measurement of the elevation of land surface water and ocean surface topography. The broad scientific objectives specified by the NRC decadal review have been refined by community involvement in open workshops and the guidance of an informal science team before the missions' Phase A, and further improved by the missions' Science Definition Team during Phase A. This document summarizes the scientific objectives for each community.
SWOT Orbit Information
[2014] Information on SWOT orbit characteristics and requirements, as well as reference orbit and swath files.
SWOT Mission Science Document
[2012] In October 2007, a SWOT Science Working Group (SWG) was formed under the auspices of NASA and CNES with participants from the international communities of oceanography and land surface hydrology. The SWG was charged to provide scientific guidance for the development of the mission, including science objectives and requirements, science payload, orbit selection, and data products. Since the inaugural meeting in October 2007, the SWG has met eight times. Additionally, a town hall meeting on SWOT was held in the 2008 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. This document summarizes the findings from these meetings with a purpose to provide information on the potential opportunities in science investigation and applications as well as on the preliminary design of the SWOT mission concept.

SWOT Investigation Plans [Please see "Science Team Projects" for investigation topics]

Altimetry Data Assimilation Chain for Multi-resolution River Flow Models
[2018] This research project aims at inferring unknown or uncertain hydraulic features of worldwide rivers observed by the SWOT mission; more specifically it aims at estimating the rivers discharge.
SWOT Contribution for Understanding the Dynamics of the Polar Ice Caps; Data Assimilation and Multi-scale Approach
[2018] This research project aims at improving the estimation of the bed topography beneath the ice-sheets (Antarctica, Greenland) where very few airborne measurements only are available.
[2018] The BIOSWOT project aims at paving the way to the exploitation of SWOT observations for the understanding of fine-scale biophysical processes, like notably the export of anthropogenic carbon and the pattern formation of marine biodiversity.
VASHYB - Validation of Altimetric Satellites for HYdrology in Brazil
[2018] The objective of this project is to propose an ambitious program of deployment of in-situ stations on some major Brazilian Rivers for the validation of the future altimetric satellites, namely ESA's SENTINEL-3 missions and the NASA/CNES mission SWOT.
Using FOAM project facilities for SWOT CAL/VAL (FOAMS)
[2018] We intend to continue and ensure the experiments already conducted through the FOAM project (2007-2011, 2012-2016 and 2017-2020), funded in the framework of the Jason mission (but includes a multi-mission approach), at various sites (Corsica, Kerguelen, île d'Aix, Perthuis Charentais, Arcachon Bay, Gironde Estuary, lakes and rivers...) where the local conditions are different from each others but where permanent instruments and infrastructures already exist and have to be reinforced.
Development of Barotropic and Baroclinic Tide Models in Support of the SWOT Mission
[2018] First-mode baroclinic tides have typical wavelengths in the deep ocean of order 100-170 km for semidiurnal tides, double that for diurnal tides. Higher modes have shorter scales. These tides thus fall directly into the prime mesoscale and submesoscale regime that SWOT is designed to study. It will be critical to remove as much of this tidal variability in SWOT data as possible. Our project aims to develop both barotropic and baroclinic tidal models to support this goal and to deliver models to the SWOT project teams that can be employed for the initial processing of SWOT data.
Expanding Altimetry Outreach: An Investigation to Federate and Promote Outreach for the SWOT Mission
[2017] We propose to use the possibilities of the SWOT mission to continue to expand outreach, be it educational & public outreach, or application outreach, to new publics, and new subjects, including and especially hydrology. For that, we will build upon existing material and new Investigators works, develop new link lists, and also new material when none is available.
Fluxes of Heat, Carbon, and Oxygen at SWOT Scales
[2017] There are many complex issues involved in maximizing the usefulness of SWOT observations. Our particular focus is on better understanding how SWOT may aid in better establishing the role played by submesoscale phenomena in mediating fluxes of the biogeochemical tracers. Can SWOT help determine submesoscale contributions to global budgets? What are the primary lateral and temporal scales responsible for transport? Which submesoscale processes play the most important roles in vertical fluxes? We are addressing these questions with suites of submesoscale-resolving regional simulations, described briefly in this document.
Development and Comprehensive Validation of SWOT River Discharge Algorithms from AirSWOT, Simulator, and Field Measurements
[2017] In order to develop and comprehensively validate SWOT river discharge algorithms using AirSWOT, simulator, and field measurements, we propose to: 1) perform comprehensive validation of the four existing algorithms using i) AirSWOT measurements, ii) field data, iii) SWOT instrument simulations, and iv) hydraulic model outputs; 2) develop a novel synergistic algorithm and provide an open source user platform to deliver discharge products; and 3) develop these algorithms for deployment at river basin scales. We will leverage significant ongoing work, existing datasets, and data available via collaboration with other groups to make this project feasible.
OSIRIS: Ocean, Sea-ice and Rain Investigations for SWOT
[2017] The OSIRIS project brings together the work plans of seven investigators from five UK organizations. The consortium gathers a broad range of UK expertise which will contribute to different aspects of SWOT research priorities for oceanography and cryosphere.
Algorithm Development for SWOT River Discharge Retrievals
[2017] The over-arching goal of the project is to develop a set of algorithms and modeling systems to be used by the SWOT mission for the retrieval of river discharge estimates globally.
Understanding SWOT Measurements in Coastal Wetlands
[2017] The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will enable estimation of water level and velocity along the coast and within large rivers. However, SWOT's capabilities and limitations in coastal wetlands remains to be assessed. Coastal wetlands are complex systems characterized by a mosaic of various vegetation types covering the water surface and are interspersed with numerous rivers and channels of different sizes. Our overall goal is to assess the potential and limitations of SWOT to measure and monitor hydrodynamic processes in coastal wetlands, and to define the SWOT science products specific to coastal wetlands.
Modeling Internal Wave Signals and their Predictability for SWOT
[2017] We are working with high-resolution global simulations, of the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) and the MITgcm, that are simultaneously forced by atmospheric and oceanic fields and that therefore resolve both mesoscale eddies and internal wave motions.
Exploiting Ocean Observations to Separate Mesoscale and Submesoscale Variability
[2017] A critical step in interpreting the SWOT signal will be to distinguish the mesoscale signals (wavelength > 50 km) from the other signals that will be detected by SWOT (e.g., submesoscale features, internal waves and tides, swell). This is a nontrivial problem, as these processes are not well understood or modeled. A further complication is that SWOT will have a temporal resolution of 10-20 days, making it difficult to identify the quickly evolving submesoscale field and internal waves. Tackling this problem requires a better understanding of ocean dynamics across the range of scales and regimes that SWOT will measure.
Integrating Lateral Contributions and Longitudinal Controls Along River Reaches to Improve SWOT Discharge Estimates
[2017] This project aims to develop novel approaches for integrating lateral inflows and lake/reservoir outflows into an established SWOT discharge algorithm to reduce SWOT discharge errors.
SPAce altimetry for Water and Energy Transfers modeling (SPAWET)
[2017] The overall objective of the SPAWET project is to improve the characterization and modelling of lakes and groundwater buffering impacts based on the use of future SWOT data. For that purpose, we propose to develop and apply advanced and complementary hydrological models and to explore the potential of SAR altimetry for enhancing their performances. These developments will therefore improve the overall simulation of the hydrological cycle through a better quantification of lake evaporation and groundwater contribution to river discharges.
Developing an Effective Assimilation of SWOT Data in Mercator Ocean Systems (DESMOS)
[2017] The main objective of our project is to prepare the assimilation of SWOT in Mercator Ocean and Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) high resolution ocean models. Assimilation of SWOT data together with conventional altimeter missions into ocean analysis and forecasting models is an essential and (most likely) mandatory step to develop a wide use of SWOT data for ocean applications.
Calibration and Validation of SWOT Oceanographic Products Using the Permanent Facility for Altimetry Calibration in West Crete, Greece
[2017] The main goal of this research is to answer these questions and carry out absolute calibration and validation (Cal/Val) of the SWOT products using the Permanent Facility for Altimetry Calibration (PFAC) in west Crete, Greece.
Coastal Ocean Continuum in surface Topography Observations (COCTO)
[2017] This proposal will focus on three main objectives: Objective 1: Advance our understanding of fine-scale dynamical processes (O(1km) to O(10km)) within the estuary-mouth-plume-shelf-break-ocean continuum; Objective 2: Identify the signature of these processes in current and future measurements, in particular Sea-Surface height (SSH) and other surface measurements; and Objective 3: Characterize the potential impact of future SWOT measurements, together with complementary in situ measurements, on the estimation of those processes.
Model-based Adaptive Water-body Lake Mapping and Lake Modeling from SWOT/KaRIn
[2017] This project seeks to contribute to lake mapping and lake product generation in the SWOT mission. We in Year 1 concentrated on modeling SWOT topographic layover distributions based on KaRIn's sensing geometry, and analyzing global lake observability from SWOT using our recently produced global high-resolution lake database, SWOT orbits, and terrain layover simulation. The major research objectives in Year 2 include (1) to finalize global lake observability results and study global reservoir observability; (2) to model uncertainty in SWOT lake mapping; (3) to investigate lake compositing methods in cycle-based lake product generation.
Characterization, Modeling and SWOT Potentiality to Measure Hydro-Meteo-Marine Phenomena in the Coastal and Estuarine Systems
[2017] The main objective of the COTEST project (Characterisation, modeling and SWOT potentiality to measure hydro-meteo-marine phenomena in the coastal and estuarine systems) is to better understand the interactions of the hydro-meteo-marine phenomena on the hydrodynamics in the estuarine and coastal systems (nearshore and shoreline) and SWOT's ability to reproduce these hydrodynamics and phenomena.
Transition Scale from Geostrophic Flows to Wave Motions in the World Ocean
PI: Bo Qiu
[2017] The overall goals of our project as part of the SWOT Science Team are, (1) to aid SWOT mission science preparation by evaluating spatio-temporal variability of SSH and surface velocity signals from available repeat ship-board ADCP measurements and high-resolution OGCM output from 1/48° MITgcm (llc 4320), and, (2) to advance our understanding of new upper ocean dynamics at O(5-200km) scales by analyzing high-resolution OGCM output and ADCP data, with the goal to maximize SWOT's scientific return.
Water Level and Discharge Estimation with a Polynomial Surrogate Model for Uncertainty Quantification and Data Assimilation - Application to a Real Test Case: The Garonne Valley
[2017] The group is composed of CECI (CERFACS/CNRS, Toulouse, France) and LNHE (EDF R&D, Chatou, France). It gathers expertise in hydraulic modeling (TELEMAC-MASCARET software) and applied mathematics with a focus on uncertainty quantification (UQ) (sampling, analysis of variance, surrogate models) and data assimilation (DA) (ensemble-based methods, filtering algorithms, variational methods). The group has been working together for several years; the most significant developments stand in the implementation of Kalman Filter derived algorithm for model state and parameters correction via DA of inset observations and its operational use for flood forecasting and water resource management. A perspective for these studies, developed here, is to use Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) data to improve hydraulic model parameters and results and consequently improve water level and discharge simulation and forecast.
Towards an Improved Understanding of the Global Hydrological Cycle Using SWOT Measurements
[2017] The main objective of this study is to develop methodologies for using SWOT data to improve the input parameters and the physics of the hydrological and hydrodynamic parameterizations in ESMs at the global scale, including rivers, lakes and ground water reservoirs, leading to improved estimates of the corresponding reservoirs and exchanges between them.
The Use of USGS and International Ground-, Airborne- and Satellite-based Measurements to Address SWOT Science, Calibration and Validation across Global Hydrological Regimes
[2017] A summary of participation of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in SWOT activities, and an outline of plans for FY 2017. In 2017, plans include participating in the Sagavanirktok River field effort, contributing to the Discharge Algorithm Working Group, and conducting measurements from unmanned aircraft to assist with calibration and validation of SWOT-like measurements.
Research and Development of SWOT Measurements in the Canadian Oceans
[2017] The scientific objectives for this proposal are (1) to improve knowledge of coastal currents, mesoscale and submesoscale features, tides, marine winds and waves from existing nadir altimetry data, RADARSAT images, in situ measurements and numerical models in Canadian marine waters, and (2) to improve models for tide, circulation, internal tide and wave, and surface wave and to develop techniques that can effectively integrate simulated SWOT data into these models.
Developing a Global Assimilation and Modeling Framework to Produce SWOT Data Products
[2017] Our project aims to develop a modeling and data assimilation framework that can be implemented efficiently for generating a SWOT Level 4 data products consisting of continuous fields of water surface elevation, discharge, and storage change globally.
Characterization of Global Internal Tides at High Horizontal Resolution
[2017] This project aims to improve the prediction and characterization of internal-tide sea surface displacements using global numerical simulations with 1/100 (~1 km horizontal resolution. The high resolution simulations are conducted using the linearized Coupled-mode ShallowWater model (CSW; Kelly et al., 2016), which can resolve small-scale internal tides that are absent in coarserresolution general circulation models (which typically have horizontal resolutions of 4-10 km). The increased resolution improves the representation of internal tides throughout the global ocean, however the largest improvements occur in regions where internal tides have short wavelengths, such as coastal seas, regions of complex bathymetry, and areas of energetic mesoscale circulation.
U.S.-Canada Collaboration to Build SWOT Calibration/Validation and Science Capacity for Northern Rivers and Wetlands
[2017] The objective of this SWOT Science Team project is to aid pre-launch preparations and scientific development for the surface water hydrology component of the NASA/CNES/CSA Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission.
Participation in the SWOT Science Team: Marine Geophysics
[2017] One of the secondary objectives of the SWOT mission is marine geophysics. The current accuracy of the ocean surface slope derived from traditional altimetry is about 2 microradians at 13 km wavelength, which is equivalent to 2 milligals of accuracy. SWOT, with its smaller footprint and additional cross-track slope measurement, could improve the gravity accuracy by perhaps an order of magnitude and also improve spatial resolution especially on the shallow continental margins.
Integrating SWOT Measurements Into Global Hydrologic and Hydraulic Models
[2017] We plan to build on ongoing research in several institutions to establish an international collaboration that will focus on understanding the best integration methods between expected SWOT terrestrial retrievals and existing global hydrologic/hydrodynamic models.
Mesoscale and Sub-Mesoscale Vertical Exchanges from Multi-platform Experiments and Supporting Modeling Simulations (MULTI-SUB)
[2017] The general objective of MULTI-SUB is to quantify and improve our and understanding of vertical exchanges associated with oceanic mesoscale and sub-mesoscale features (e.g fronts, meanders, eddies and filaments) through the combined use of, in-situ and satellite data in synergy with numerical models. The ultimate goal is to enhance our understanding of the impact of finescale processes on biochemical variables. We will focus on a range of scales (30-100 km) traditionally not resolved by conventional altimeters.
SWOT-GPM: Exploring the Complementarities in Altimetry and Rainfall Measurement from Satellite in Tropical Basins
[2017] The specific objective of this proposal is to use Rainfall estimation from satellite (GPM constellation / Megha-Tropiques mission) to better understand and predict the river discharge variability as it will be observed by SWOT.
SWOT in the Tropics: A Case Study in the South West Pacific
[2017] This proposal aims at federating people from different communities working on climate, turbulence, models and observations in order to investigate how the high-resolution and high-frequency (1-day) measurements of SWOT could be dynamically interpreted and used in the tropics. The ultimate purpose is to propose for the next SWOT call a cal/val experiment based on the results of this proposal.
River Discharge Estimation Under Uncertainty from Synthetic SWOT-type Observations Using Variational Data Assimilation
[2017] Variational data assimilation has been applied for discharge estimation under uncertainties in river bathymetry and bed roughness using the hydraulic model SIC2. Synthetic WSE measurements, which emulate the spatial and temporal sampling of the SWOT mission, are assimilated for the Garonne River downstream reach. Similar tests have been carried out on the Po and Sacramento Rivers using the SWOT hydrology simulator developed at JPL. We investigate simultaneous estimation of discharge, river bathymetry and bed roughness in the framework of the extended control vector approach.
Development of Calibration/Validation and Assimilation Methods of Wide-Swath Sea Surface Height Measurements in the Western North Pacific and Surrounding Marginal Seas
[2017] In this proposal, based on our experience in observations and assimilation mainly in the western North Pacific and surrounding marginal seas, we will develop new observations for small scale sea surface height features, calibration and validation methods for SWOT, and SWOT data assimilation methods.
Ocean Mesoscale, Sub-mesoscale, and Internal Wave Variability and Dynamics
[2017] The overall project goals are to assess how oceanic mesoscale, sub-mesoscale, and internal wave signals may be manifest in SWOT measurements and how to use SWOT data to develop new physical insight into these phenomena, and to contribute to addressing the associated challenges posed to the SWOT mission.
New Dynamical Tools for Submesoscales Characterization in SWOT Data
[2017] The altimetry mission SWOT will provide Sea Surface Height (SSH) data-sets at unprecedented resolution (10-100km) with a 2D coverage in space. Such a data-set requires development of new diagnostic tools to unveil different dynamical aspects of the mesoscales (horizontal scales around 300km) and submesoscales (around 30km) that can be extracted from the SSH signal.
Assimilation and Interpretation of High-Wavenumber Variability in the Ocean for SWOT
[2017] The objective of our research in support of SWOT is to develop 4-dimensional variational assimilation (4d-var) methods that include both quasi-geostrophic and tidal motions in order to build the capabilities to map, evaluate, and interpret SWOT observations, with a specific focus on the California Current region, which has been identified as one of the target regions for calibration and validation of SWOT (Wang et al., 2016). Our aim is to distinguish balanced, geostrophic motions from the myriad other processes that influence SSH variability at the ocean surface.
SWOT Preparations for Ground-truthing, Discharge Product Development and Water Management Applications in Asian River Systems
[2017] With rising population growth and increasing demand for resources, surface water is being redistributed and artificially managed to the extent that there are few pristine river basins left today in populated regions without the strong human footprint caused by water diversions, barrages, dams and irrigation projects. The current reality is that in these populated regions of the world, it has become intractable to have accurate knowledge of the management component of water for physically predicting the surface water component of the human-impacted water cycle.
SWOT and the Ice-Covered Oceans of the Arctic and Antarctic: Sea Surface Height and Sea Ice Freeboard
[2017] This project addresses research opportunities offered by the SWOT mission that pertain to observations of sea surface height and sea ice freeboard/thickness of the ice-covered oceans.


SWOT Simulator for Ocean Science
[2016] This software simulates SWOT observations of sea surface height (SSH) that can be applied to an ocean general circulation model (OGCM), allowing the exploration of ideas and methods to optimize information retrieval from the SWOT Mission in the future. From OGCM SSH inputs, the software generates SWOT-like outputs on a swath along the orbit ground track and adds measurement error and noise, which are generated according to technical characteristics published by the SWOT project team. Not designed to directly simulate the payload instrument performance, this SWOT simulator aims at providing statistically realistic outputs for the science community with a simple software package released as an open source in Python. The software is scalable and designed to support future evolution of orbital parameters, error budget estimates from the project team and suggestions from the science community. View the full manual. Download example data
(ZIP, 422 MB)

White Papers

The Wavenumber Spectra and Standard Deviations of Uncorrelated Errors in SWOT Measurements of Sea-Surface Height for Various Footprint Sizes
[2019] The purpose of this paper is to derive from the science requirement specification the corresponding wavenumber spectra and standard deviations of the uncorrelated measurement errors for footprint sizes of 0.5 km, 1.0 km and 2.0 km, without 15-km smoothing in the across-track dimension.
Coastal and Estuaries Part 2 - Coastal Seas and Shelf Processes
[2015] The SWOT Mission Science Document was published in 2012 and the general overview sections were written in 2011. The Science Document contains a section on coastal seas and shelf processes that provides a good general overview. This white paper is aimed at providing an updated perspective on SWOT science and applications for coastal seas and shelves. A separate white paper (Coastal and Estuaries White Paper, Part 1: Estuaries and Nearshore Processes) describes SWOT applications in estuaries and near-shore regions (where dynamics are strongly influenced by breaking waves).
Issues and SWOT Contribution in the Coastal Zones and Estuaries Part 1
[2015] This white paper describes SWOT applications in estuaries and near-shore regions where dynamics are strongly influenced by breaking waves.
Theoretical Basis for the Resolution and Noise of SWOT Estimates of Sea-Surface Height
[2015] The analysis presented here is intended to supplement the discussion in the SWOT science requirements document, the onboard processing document, and the mission performance and error budget document.
Mesoscale / Sub-mesoscale Dynamics in the Upper Ocean
[2015] This white paper mainly addresses some of the potential general science questions that can be addressed from the SSH signals observable with SWOT.
Tides and the SWOT Mission: Transition from Science Definition Team to Science Team
[2015] In this document, we briefly review the progress-to-date, and work remaining, on shelf tides, coastal tides, open-ocean internal tides, and high-latitude tides as they pertain to the SWOT mission. In addition, we also discuss plans for tidal correction algorithms, the need for better bathymetry, especially in coastal regions, and the need for a coordinated effort to evaluate tidal models. Finally, we conclude with some recommendations for SWOT-related tide model development efforts.


Where’s Water? Great Pacific "Garbage Patch" [e-brochure]
[2017] From coasts to regions where debris flows ... SWOT has it covered.
Where’s Water? Arctic [e-brochure]
[2017] From northern lakes to Arctic seas ... SWOT has it covered.
Where’s Water? Colorado River [e-brochure]
[2017] From Lake Powell to Southern California ... SWOT has it covered.
Where’s Water? U.S. East Coast [e-brochure]
[2017] From New York to Florida ... SWOT has it covered.
Where’s Water? Amazon [e-brochure]
[2017] From the headwaters to the coast ... SWOT has it covered.
Where’s Water? Tropical Pacific [e-brochure]
[2017] From El Niño to sea level rise ... SWOT has it covered.
How SWOT Will Work [e-brochure]
[2017] The SWOT Mission will be NASA's first comprehensive view of our ever-changing world of water. This e-brochure explains how interferometry - the study of how waves interfere - will be used by SWOT to measure water levels with extraordinary accuracy across the globe.
Where There’s Water on Land...There’s SWOT [e-brochure]
[2017] SWOT will provide the very first comprehensive view of Earth's freshwater bodies from space.
Where There’s Water...There’s SWOT [e-brochure]
[2017] Where There's Water...There's SWOT provides an overview of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, which will make the first global survey of Earth's surface water. Animated scenes showing SWOT in orbit illustrate how the satellite will collect data over land and ocean using wide-swath technology (interferometry) and a downward-looking altimeter.
[2008] The SWOT satellite mission with its wide swath altimetry technology is a means of completely covering the world's oceans and freshwater bodies with repeated high resolution elevation measurements. SWOT is a truly multi-disciplinary cooperative international effort.

Overview Materials

Summary of the Third Surface Water and Ocean Topography Science Team Meeting
[2018] The third Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Science Team Meeting was held in Montreal, Canada, June 26-28, 2018. The meeting was immediately followed by the SWOT Hydrology Discharge Product Development Meeting, and Ocean Calibration/Validation Meeting, which both took place on June 29. All three meetings are summarized here.
Second Surface Water and Ocean Topography Science Team Meeting
[2017] The second Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Science Team Meeting was held in Toulouse, France, June 26-28, 2017. The meeting was immediately followed by the SWOT Calibration/Validation Workshop, which took place on June 29, 2017.
SWOT: Tracking Water on Earth from Mountains to the Deep Sea
[2016] An introduction to SWOT provided by Project Scientist Lee-Lueng Fu.
Surface Water and Ocean Topography Science Team Meeting
[2016] The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission brings together two international communities whose focus is on better understanding Earth's ocean and surface waters and the interplay between them. U.S. and French oceanographers and hydrologists and other international partners have joined forces to develop this new space-based mission to make the first global survey of Earth's surface water, observe the fine details of the ocean's surface topography, and measure how the height of water bodies change over time. The first SWOT Science Team Meeting was held in Pasadena, CA, June 13-15, 2016. The meeting was immediately followed on June 16 by parallel sessions of the SWOT Ocean Calibration/Validation Workshop and Hydrology High-Level Data Products Workshop.
SWOT 101 - A Mission Primer
[2015] Overview of the SWOT Mission given by T. Pavelsky and R. Morrow during the 1st Applications User Workshop (Jan 2015). It addresses major partnerships, mission science objectives, measurement characteristics and performance, along with data products.
From Rivers and Lakes to the Global Ocean
[2013] The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will completely cover the world's ocean basins and freshwater bodies with repeated, high-resolution elevation measurements. It will be like having a topographic map of all of the surface water on Earth.
SWOT - Surface Water Ocean Topography
[2013] Early mission poster.
The SWOT Satellite Mission Concept
[2013] This poster describes the surface water portion of the joint concept: "Where is water stored on Earth's land surfaces, and how does this storage vary in space and time?"
Decadal Survey Mission Development: SWOT
[2009] Presentation on the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission presented at the Decadal Survey Mission Development Symposium in 2009. This talk provides background and proposed plans for the SWOT mission.
Understanding Surface Water Characteristics and Ocean Dynamics
[2008] The proposed Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission brings together two science communities - oceanographers and hydrologists - to focus on a better understanding of Earth's ocean and its terrestrial surface water.
Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond
[2007] This report from the National Resources Council presents a vision for the Earth science program; an analysis of the existing Earth Observing System and recommendations to help restore its capabilities; an assessment of and recommendations for new observations and missions for the next decade (including SWOT); an examination of and recommendations for effective application of those observations; and an analysis of how best to sustain that observation and applications system.
Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
[2007] The Working Group I contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report describes progress in understanding the human and natural drivers of climate change, observed climate change, climate processes and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change. It builds upon past IPCC assessments and incorporates new findings from the past six years of research.
The WATER-HM Satellite Mission Concept
[2006] This poster describes the WATER portion of the joint concept: "Where is water stored on Earth's land surfaces, and how does this storage vary in space and time?"
The WatER Satellite
[2005] Where is water stored on Earth's land surfaces, and how does this storage vary in space and time?


2019 SWOT Early Adopters Training Workshop
[2019] Workshop report for the 2019 SWOT Early Adopters Training Workshop. This event was held at CNES Headquarters, Les Halles, Paris on May 20-21, 2019.
2018 SWOT Applications/1st SWOT Early Adopters Training Workshop
[2019] Workshop report for the 4th SWOT Application Workshop and 1st SWOT Early Adopters Training Workshop. This event was held at Northeastern University, Boston MA on May 29-30, 2018.
SWOT Early Adopters Guide
[2018] This guide lays out the fundamentals of the Early Adopters program for SWOT. The goal of the SWOT Early Adopter program is: 1) to expand the user communities with tangible and potential applications that would benefit from the use of SWOT data sets; 2) to facilitate feedback on SWOT data products pre-launch, and; 3) to accelerate the use and integration of SWOT products into applications post-launch by providing specific support to Early Adopters who commit to engage in pre-launch applied research.
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.) organized by the SWOT Applications Working Group (SAWG). The workshop began with an overview of conventional altimetry, focusing on contributions to the development of applications (operational and research) in hydrology and oceanography, which was followed by an overview presentation on the SWOT mission and objectives. Workshop participants included 27 people who attended on site, and 12 who attended the concurrent online webinar from a total of 41 registrants.
3rd SWOT Applications User Workshop - Summary Report
[2017] During April 5-6, 2017, a workshop was organized at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) headquarters (HQ) in Reston (Virginia) on the application potential of the planned Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. SWOT is a research satellite mission jointly developed by NASA, the French space agency (CNES), with participation from the Canadian and UK space agencies to serve both the hydrology and oceanography communities. This is the second such application workshop organized by SAWG to explore how best to maximize the user-readiness of the SWOT data after launch in 2021. More than fifty participants attended the workshop over the period of two days with many attending remotely as time permitted.
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. The end goal is to "engage applications-oriented users and organizations early in the satellite mission lifecycle to enable them to envision possible applications and integrate end- user needs into satellite mission planning as a way to increase the benefits to the nation".