It is our great pleasure to announce that after 2 ½ years of intensive and at times, quite challenging commissioning efforts, our little SeaHawk Cubesat with the HawkEye ocean color instrument onboard entered its routine operations phase on Monday, 21 June 2021. As with all things that are being attempted for the first time, there were many unforeseen hurdles to overcome and problems to solve but to quote William Shakespeare from Henry VIII - “To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first”.
Well, we have climbed a very steep hill but the view from the top is magnificent as you can see by taking a look at just a few example images that have been acquired by HawkEye.
Full details including links about the mission, its history, data products, operations and data access can be found at: https://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/hawkeye/
Over the course of the commissioning phase of the mission (3 December 2018 – 21 June 2021), a number of different instrument configurations were tested to try and maximize the scientific quality of the images finally settling on a configuration on 16 April 2021 that was decided would be the default as we moved into nominal operations. The current calibration configuration that is used in our production system and that is provided in new version of SeaDAS that will fully support HawkEye data and is being released today, is optimized for data collected after that date.
With the transition to operations, all HawkEye data starting with the very first image taken on March 21st, 2019 through today are now available for browse, download and ordering on the OceanColor Web Browser.
It is anticipated that within the next few weeks, we will start providing the opportunity to the international research community with the ability to schedule the HawkEye instrument to acquire images anywhere in the world and will be sending out all the details on how to do that soon.
And on behalf of the entire team at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW), Cloudland Instruments, AAC-Clyde Space, the Moore Foundation and NASA, our very best regards,
Gene Carl Feldman
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771