Sensor Intercomparison Merger for Biological Interdisciplinary Oceanic Studies

Project Description
The Sensor Intercomparison and Merger for Biological and
Interdisciplinary Oceanic Studies (SIMBIOS) program was conceived in
1994 as a result of a NASA management review of the agency's strategy
for monitoring the bio-optical properties of the global ocean through
ocean color remote sensing from space.
The initial SIMBIOS program is scoped for five years (1997-2001) and
includes support for the science team (NASA Research Announcement
(NRA) selections) and the project office. In 1995, the International
Ocean Colour-Coordinating Group (IOCCG) was formed to undertake the
organization of an international SIMBIOS program. The IOCCG presently
operates under the auspices of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic
Research (SCOR) and chairmanship of Dr. Trevor Platt.

The NASA program consists of the SIMBIOS Science Team and the SIMBIOS
Project Office. The SIMBIOS Science Team, as initially defined by the
NRA selections, was expanded to include additional investigations for
atmospheric correction algorithm validation. The SIMBIOS program is
substantially augmented by the participation of the NASA-supported
MODIS Oceans Team and SeaWiFS Calibration and Validation program.

SIMBIOS collaborators associated with other relevant programs and
science teams who contribute data, algorithms, etc., are given access
to SIMBIOS Project resources in return, e.g., access to the SeaWiFS
Bio-optical Archive and Storage System (SeaBASS). Besides providing
administrative and contract support for the science team, the SIMBIOS
Project Office is scoped to support four primary activities: data
product validation, sensor calibration, data merger algorithm
evaluation, and satellite data processing.

The SIMBIOS Project has created a pool of ocean bio-optical
instruments, the use of which will be shared between NASA-supported,
U.S. investigators contributing to the SIMBIOS program. This
"Instrument Pool" is an attempt to provide a cost-effective
enhancement to the overall capabilities of the SIMBIOS Science Team,
and to provide backup in case of failure of a critical instrument
during an experiment. The equipment in the Instrument Pool are
purchased and maintained by individual SIMBIOS principal
investigators, but deployment schedules and priorities are coordinated
by the Project Office with the advice of the Science Team. To better
support validation of algorithms for atmospheric corrections and
aerosol property retrievals, the SIMBIOS Project Office has
established a close working collaboration with the Aerosol Network
(AERONET) project, which maintains and operates a worldwide network of
sun-tracking photometers. The NASA AERONET program is managed GSFC
personnel. The Project Office has purchased equipment for nine
additional island and coastal sun-photometer stations to be added to
the AERONET, and has linked the AERONET archives to SeaBASS. In
addition, the Project Office maintains a pool of hand-held sun
photometers, which are calibrated by the GSFC AERONET investigators
and are made available to SIMBIOS investigators during field

For more detailed information on SIMBIOS visit

For a list of SIMBIOS investigators visit
Revision_Date: 1999-12-14