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Passive and active observations at L band (frequency similar to 1.4 GHz) from the Aquarius/SAC-D mission offer new capabilities to study the polar regions. Due to the lack of polar-gridded products, however, applications over the cryosphere have been limited. We present three weekly polar-gridded products of Aquarius data to improve our understanding of L-band observations of ice sheets, sea ice, permafrost, and the polar oceans. Additionally, these products intend to facilitate access to L-band data, and can be used to assist in algorithm developments. Aquarius data at latitudes higher than 50 degrees are averaged and gridded into weekly products of brightness temperature (TB), normalized radar cross section (NRCS), and sea surface salinity (SSS). Each grid cell also contains sea ice fraction, the standard deviation of TB, NRCS, and SSS, and the number of footprint observations collected during the seven-day cycle. The largest 3 dB footprint dimensions are 97 km x 156 km and 74 km x 122 km (along x across track) for the radiometers and scatterometer, respectively. The data is gridded to the Equal-Area Scalable Earth version 2.0 (EASE2.0) grid, with a grid cell resolution of 36 km. The data sets start in August 2011, with the first Aquarius observations and will be updated on a monthly basis following the release schedule of the Aquarius Level 2 data sets. The weekly gridded products are distributed by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center at


This article was originally published in The Cryosphere, volume 8, issue 2, in 2014. DOI: 10.5194/tc-8-905-2014


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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