In the late 1990s, NASA launched two ocean color satellites. These satellites measure light reflected out of the ocean, providing data to detect global warming, irregularities in the biological food chain, and other environmental problems.
Since the satellites degrade over time, their output must be continually checked for accuracy. To this end, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated a program that uses radiometers in the marine optical systems (MOS) to validate data from the satellites. These radiometers measure the color of light reflected out of sea water at several depths. Researchers at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, funded by NOAA and NASA, then correlate the ocean color data from MOS with that from the satellites.
Moss Landing uses MATLAB® and Instrument Control Toolbox™ to collect and analyze their data and to calibrate the MOS instruments.