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Solar tracking radiometry platform

The So-Rad is a low-power, low cost autonomous system to obtain high-frequency water-leaving reflectance from non-stationary platforms such as ships and buoys. So-Rad software is highly configurable and open-source. So-Rad optimizes the measurement geometry of commercially available sensors which increases the number of successful observations of water colour obtained from moving platforms (Simis and Olsson 2013). 

Hyperspectral water-leaving reflectance is used to determine diagnostic features in water colour that can be associated with phytoplankton biomass, suspended solids and dissolved organic matter concentration.

Observing in situ reflectance with sensors on the So-Rad is used to validate satellite observations, particularly the performance of algorithms that separate atmospheric and water-leaving radiance, which have high uncertainty in optically complex waters such as coastal seas and inland waters.  High-quality reference measurements are required, collected under optimal observation conditions (solar and viewing azimuth, sun elevation).

Added Value of So-Rad
  • Off-shore satellite validation is currently limited to research vessels and fixed moorings that are costly to maintain. The So-Rad can be installed on non-stationary platforms and is ideally suited to be included on merchant vessels. Ferry routes are recommended because of predictable routes and schedules. Periodic sensor maintenance can be easily carried out by non-expert crew.
  • A high degree of automation and low-power components means the platform can be installed in remote locations for autonomous operation.

MONOCLE has realised a low-cost, low-power, sustainable option for in situ hyperspectral radiometry with the So-Rad. 

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