SMAP RSS Salinity Version 2 Validated Release

Date Added: 
Monday, October 24, 2016


RSS SMAP SSS V2.0 Validated Release

SMAP sea surface salinity (SSS) V2.0 validated release data are available from Remote Sensing Systems.  The near-polar orbit of SMAP allows for complete global coverage of the oceans in 3 days with a repeat cycle of 8 days.  The RSS SMAP SSS V2.0 validated release contains 3 products:

  1. Level 2
  2. Level 3 8-day running averages
  3. Level 3 monthly averages

All files are in netCDF4 CF compliant. For details about the RSS SMAP SSS V2.0 validated release (release notes, file and data formats, description of the algorithm, ATBD, validation), consult the V2.0 Release Notes.


How to Cite The RSS SMAP Salinity Data

As a condition of using these data, we require you to use the following citation:

Meissner, T. and F. J. Wentz, 2016:  Remote Sensing Systems SMAP Ocean Surface Salinities [Level 2C, Level 3 Running 8-day, Level 3 Monthly], Version 2.0 validated release. Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, CA, USA. Available online at,  doi: 10.5067/SMP20-xxxxx.

In the doi, the string xxxxx is:

  1. 2SOCS for the L2C files.
  2. 3SPCS for the L3 8-day running maps.
  3. 3SMCS for the L3 monthly maps.

Continued production of this data set requires support from NASA.  We need you to be sure to cite these data when used in your publications so that we can demonstrate the value of this data set to the scientific community.  Please include the following statement in the acknowledgement section of your paper:

"SMAP salinity data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Ocean Salinity Science Team.  They are available at"


Updates from the V1.0 (BETA) Release:

  1. Antenna Pattern Correction (APC): The spillover, or equivalently the matrix element AII in the APC matrix, was increased from 1.0929 (V1.0) to 1.1080 (V2.0).
  2. The along-scan bias correction in V1.0 has been removed.
  3. The emissivity of the mesh antenna was set to 0.01 for both V-pol and H-pol polarizations.
  4. JPL has updated their thermal model for the physical temperature of the reflector. 
  5. In addition, an empirical adjustment to the thermal model has been introduced in order to mitigate observed zonal and seasonal biases in V1.0. 
  6. The correction for the reflected galaxy has been updated based on the SMAP for – aft look analysis.
  7. The land correction has been tuned to mitigate salty biases around the continents in the S hemisphere (E coast of S America, Australia) that were prevalent in V1.0.
  8. The ancillary SST for V2.0 is taken from the Canadian Meteorological Center CMC.  V1.0 had used Reynolds OI SST as ancillary SST input.
  9. Level 2C (L2C) data files including all intermediate steps from TA to SSS are released including a L2 Q/C (quality control) flag. 
  10. The Level 3 data include averages for land fraction, sea ice fraction and SST.