Scott, JP; Crooke, S; Cetinia, I; Del Castillo, CE; Gentemann, CL (2020). Correcting non-photochemical quenching of Saildrone chlorophyll-a fluorescence for evaluation of satellite ocean color retrievals. OPTICS EXPRESS, 28(3), 4274-4285.

In vivo chlorophyll fluorescence (ChlF) can serve as a reasonable estimator of in situ phytoplankton biomass with the benefits of efficiently and affordably extending the global chlorophyll (Chl) data set in time and space to remote oceanic regions where routine sampling by other vessels is uncommon. However, in vivo Chlf measurements require correction for known, spurious biases relative to other measures of Chl concentration, including satellite ocean color retrievals. Spurious biases affecting in vivo Chit; measurements include biofouling, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluorescence, calibration offsets, and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). A more evenly distributed global sampling of in vivo ChlF would provide additional confidence in estimates of uncertainty for satellite ocean color retrievals. A Saildrone semi-autonomous, ocean-going, solar- and wind-powered surface drone recently measured a variety of ocean and atmospheric parameters, including ChlF, during a 60-day deployment in mid-2018 in the California Current region. Correcting the Saildrone ChlF data for known biases, including deriving an NPQ-correction, greatly improved the agreement between the drone measurements and satellite ocean color retrievals from MODIS-Aqua and VIIRS-SNPP, highlighting that once these considerations are made, Saildrone semi-autonomous surface vehicles are a valuable, emerging data source for ocean and ecosystem monitoring. (C) 2020 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement