SAIL – Space-Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions in the Marine Boundary Layer

  • INESCTEC, Portugal
  • PI
    Susana Barbosa

The SAIL (Space-Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions in the marine boundary Layer ) project, aiming to measure the electric atmospheric field and evaluate the health of the ocean, is aboard the Sagres’s circumnavigation voyage, a 371-day around the world tour, which started in the beginning of the year, on January 5th. The ship is fully equipped for research by INESC TEC (The Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science, Portugal) and the Portuguese Navy.
SAIL’s goals correspond closely to the AIR Centre’s agenda by working towards an improved understanding of ocean-atmosphere interaction. The AIR Centre, therefore contributes to the search of potential application cases, internationalization of the approach, creation of partnerships and engagement of stakeholders as well as dissemination and outreach of the project in key locations of the Atlantic basin. This is, currently, prompting several workshops in various points of the Atlantic which provide opportunities to discuss methodologies developed and draw attention to decision makers, financing bodies and potential use sectors.
Workshops are planned by jointly employing funds from parallel ongoing projects to be held in the following locations (tentative dates):
› Tenerife, Spain (13 January 2020)
Praia, Cape Verde (21 January 2020 )
› Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (13 February 2020)
› Montevideo, Uruguay (25 February 2020)
› Buenos Aires, Argentina (2 March 2020
› Capetown, South Africa (30 March 2020)
› Punta Arenas, Chile (20 October 2020)
› Valparaiso, Chile (6 November 2020)
› Cartagena, Colombia (7 December 2020)

The importance of this project relies on the lack of proper knowledge about low clouds and the processes and interactions in which they are involved, these include storms and electrical discharges. With a multidisciplinary team formed by experts in robotics, marine biology, geophysical monitoring, data management and oceanic engineering, SAIL will establish a unique monitoring campaign, enabling access to data concerning various parameters of the ocean and atmosphere, mainly the electric atmospheric field. This was first measured by the Carnegie research ship, a hundred years ago, with a relevance so grand that the “Carnegie curve” is still used today as a reference for atmospheric electricity measurements.