Our little SeaHawk Cubesat with the HawkEye ocean color instrument onboard has completed its second month of routine operations and has now provided nearly 1,400 images, all of which are available for download. As we announced last month, we have now provided researchers with the opportunity to request specific targets or regions of interest be acquired by the HawkEye Instrument. One result of this announcement is that we are currently scheduling images that will hopefully provide coincident HawkEye images of a research cruise being conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy over the next two months starting in Alaska, transiting the Northwest Passage and then conducting a series of transects between Greenland and Baffin Island.
To take advantage of the opportunity to schedule the instrument, our team at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the University of Georgia, have created a portal by which the research community can submit requests for imagery acquisition. To find out how to do this and to request imagery of your region of interest, please follow this link.
While HawkEye has been providing some really beautiful true color images, we have been equally impressed with its ability to provide very credible chlorophyll-a imagery as well. Below is a small portion of a chlorophyll-a image taken over Bermuda by HawkEye on 12 August 2021 and an image taken by MODIS/Terra at the same time. We don't get too many open ocean scenes that are both cloud-free and in which we have such a nicely centered land target to help with the geolocation. However, this one is quite revealing as to the detailed structure in the ocean that the 120 meter HawkEye image allows us to see as compared with the 1 kilometer MODIS pixels. To see the full HawkEye scene, click on the image below:
On behalf of the entire team at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the University of Georgia, Cloudland Instruments, AAC-Clyde Space, the Moore Foundation and NASA, we send you our very best regards and look forward to what the next month of exploring our planet with HawkEye will reveal.
Gene Carl Feldman
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771