Ocean Universal Scene (OCEANUS™)

Physics-based synthetic ocean scenes in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR)

OCEANUS™ is a physics-based ocean background scene model for accurately calculating water-leaving radiance in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR) portions of the spectrum (0.2 – 50 microns) as a function of time, location, and sea state. It calculates realistic wave structure consistent with surface wind for fully developed, partially developed, and swell sea states.

OCEANUS™ is database driven, incorporating a large amount of remotely-sensed measured data. The data available includes monthly variations in the global sea surface temperature, the global sea surface salinity, the global sea ice, phytoplankton, CDOM, and suspended sediment distributions, global sea surface wind speed and direction, and ocean depth. This data characterizes the ocean spatially on a global scale for annual and multi-year cycles for local meteorological conditions, and accounts for the different ocean environments (e.g., open ocean, littoral, river mouths, estuaries). However, if desired the user can override these database values with customized inputs for a known ocean location.

OCEANUS™ is designed to incorporate all key ocean phenomena, including surface bidirectional reflectivity and directional emissivity from the ocean surface, multiple scattering within the ocean volume, and reflections from the ocean floor (important for visible wavelengths in the littoral zone). Both static and time-dependent ocean surface wave structure can be calculated based on local conditions such as surface wind speed and ocean depth. This pixel dependent surface orientation is important for calculating the bidirectional reflectivity and directional emissivity. Atmospheric effects and radiance values to support scene simulation are provided by the AETHER™ radiative transfer model. This includes atmospheric transmission, path radiance, incident direct diffuse solar irradiance, incident direct and diffuse lunar irradiance, and incident diffuse thermal irradiance, all on a three-dimensional grid (latitude, longitude and altitude).

OCEANUS™ has been integrated into GAIA™ for generating unified ocean and terrain scenes.




Wind Speed 4.34 m/s


Wind Speed 12.29 m/s

Example wave structure, generated by OCEANUS™, for a fully developed sea at two different wind speeds.