The University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UH) operates the Hyper-bb hyperspectral backscatter instrument. Professor Angelicque White uses the instrument as a component of the open ocean Hawai’i Ocean Time-series (HOT) program to collect key datasets related to calibration and validation of scattering based measurements of the base of the ocean food web, phytoplankton.
Sequoia asked Dr. White a couple of questions specific to the use and application of her new Hyper-bb instrument.
Question 1: What problems are you trying to solve by using the Hyper-bb?
“Backscatter is often used as a proxy for the standing stock of particulate carbon, including living organisms. We will use the Hyper-bb to improve calibrations and validations of regional remote sensing retrievals of phytoplankton carbon and understand how spectral backscattering coefficients change with community composition in the oligotrophic North Pacific subtropical gyre (NPSG)”
Question 2: How did you conclude that the Hyper-bb would help you solve problems and be useful for future research before purchasing?
“It has long been recognized that a comprehensive understanding of how marine phytoplankton contribute to the bulk backscattering signal in the ocean is critical for accurate interpretation of remote sensing data; however, most ocean sensors make backscattering measurements at one or two wavelengths. Preliminary research at the University of Hawai’i (and elsewhere) has indicated that the relationship between backscatter and phytoplankton has a strong spectral component in the NPSG that may reflect shifts in cell size or composition. As new ocean color sensors (PACE) are readying for launch, procurement of a Hyper-bb will allow us to address accuracy and uncertainties in the relationship between backscattering coefficients and phytoplankton carbon.”
Thanks to Dr. White and UH for her time and for the order!