In situ optical and biogeochemical in- and above-water measurements are critical for calibration and validation of satellite ocean colour radiometry data products, and for refinement of ocean colour algorithms. During the SeaWiFS era, NASA commissioned the development of a series of ocean optical measurement protocols (see NASA Ocean Optics Protocols for Satellite Ocean Color Sensor Validation) which have served as international reference standards ever since, and have promoted the collection and assembly of climate quality, ocean optical datasets by the global ocean colour community. Since publication of the last revision in 2004, there have been major advances in instrumentation and observing capability, so these community-vetted protocols need to be revised to account for new, emerging, and planned capabilities and modes of deployment.
Over the past few years NASA has sponsored several international workshops with experts (including breakout workshops at the International Ocean Colour Science meetings), to update and develop new community consensus protocols for ocean colour sensor validation. The newly drafted protocols will be made available to the international user community on this webpage for a period of time for testing, public comment and review, before they are accepted as international reference standards. Once accepted, the protocols will receive a publication date and version number (e.g., v1.0), and will also have a digital object identifier (doi). These revised protocols will be revisited periodically to determine if enough changes have taken place to warrant a significant update, in which case a new version number will be assigned.