First Saildrone Data Set Available for Public Access on NASA PO.DAAC

The Saildrone Baja Campaign studied upwelling and frontal region dynamics, air-sea interactions, and diurnal warming effects along the US/Mexico coast.

The Saildrone Baja Field Campaign Data Set is now available for public access on NASA’s Physical Oceanography Distributive Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) website. The Saildrone Baja campaign was a 60-day cruise from San Francisco Bay along the US/Mexico coast to Guadalupe Island and back over the period of April 11 – June 11, 2018; a single Saildrone unmanned surface vehicle (USV) carried a range of instruments including a CTD, IR pyrometer, fluorometer, dissolved oxygen sensor, anemometer, barometer, and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP).

A saildrone is a wind and solar-powered USV capable of long-distance deployments up to 12 months and equipped with a suite of sensors to provide high quality, georeferenced, multi-parameter surface ocean and atmospheric observations while transiting at typical speeds of three to five knots.

The cruise track for the Saildrone Baja Campaign was selected to optimize both science and validation objectives. Scientific objectives included studies of upwelling and frontal region dynamics, air-sea interactions, and diurnal warming effects; validation objectives included establishing the utility of data from the Saildrone platform for assessment of satellite data accuracy and model assimilation.

The resulting Saildrone Baja data set available from the PO.DAAC is comprised of one data file with the Saildrone platform telemetry and near-surface observational data (air temperature, sea surface skin and bulk temperatures, salinity, oxygen and chlorophyll-a concentrations, barometric pressure, and wind speed and direction) for the entire cruise at one-minute temporal resolution. A second file contains the ADCP current vector data that is depth-resolved to 100 meters at two-meter intervals and binned temporally at five-minute resolution.

Comparison of Saildrone and collocated satellite sea surface temperature observations over the Baja campaign cruise track.  Figures by the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education, Baja California, Mexico (CICESE).

The Saildrone Baja Campaign, led by Dr. Chelle Gentemann of Earth & Space Research, was supported by a Saildrone Award, The Schmidt Family Foundation, and NASA’s Physical Oceanography Program.

The data set is described and discoverable via the PO.DAAC data portal. Both associated Saildrone surface measurement and ADCP data products are in netCDF4 file format with CF/ACDD standards-compliant metadata. The data are additionally accessible via OPeNDAP and PODAAC-WS. Accompanying technical documentation includes the Saildrone Baja Cruise report.

Access the data set for this mission at the PO.DAAC or at


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