SOPRANO is a demonstration platform developed by the Radar Applications division of C.L.S. (former BOOST Technologies) to distribute CLS Level-2/3 ocean demo products processed from ESA L1 products. The algorithm used are coming out of the wind wave and current research project funded by ESA involving NORUT IT, NERSC, IFREMER, GKSS, Uni. Hamburg and Vexcel Canada.
As defined, the aim of SOPRANO is to demonstrate the production of the Level-2/3 wind and wave products. Ocean current products are also displayed even if highly experimental. The Level-2 products are produced from the Envisat rolling archive in Near Real Time (NRT), so that the processed products are available on SOPRANO website within three hours of the availability of the source SAR data. Examples of potential Level-3 products obtained from the Level-2 database are presented.
The Levels-2/3 products are routinely processed by SOPRANO over European seas and two specific supersites for strong ocean current monitoring outside Europe, that where the Agulhas and Gulf Stream currents are following the shelf break until they emerge in the open ocean.
- Europe area.
- It covers all European seas (including inner seas like the Baltic-sea, Mediterranean and the Black-sea). In particular, this region encompasses the Iroise Sea off the coast of Brittany in France and the West maritime facade of the Norway. Iroise Sea was chosen to investigate the signature of the strong tidal current and of its interactions with the wind and waves on the SAR products. Norwegian coasts were chosen as the meanders of the coastal current are well suited to investigate the orientation of the sea surface current effect on the SAR signal.
- Agulhas area.
- As indicated by its name, this area was chosen for its strong coastal steady current.
- Gulf Stream area.
- This area is ideal for the study of the Gulf Stream impacts on the SAR images as well as the hurricanes.