January 1, 2010.
The objective of the Surface Water Monitoring Project (SWaMP) is to design a constellation of satellites, based on the properties of sun glint, for timely monitoring of surface water bodies globally. The project examined several characteristics of surface waters, including the specular reflecting properties of varying sized water bodies, combined with their relative global abundance in order to evaluate several possible orbital tracks. This non-traditional use of sun glint should open new avenues of research and resource management on local, regional and global scales. By using a constellation of micro-satellites, our design should be able to reduce mission cost, present practical solutions for signal interference and provide global surface water data on a spatial and temporal scale currently unavailable.
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)