A bio-optical model for the Barents Sea is determined from a set of in situ observations of inherent optical properties (IOPs) and associated biogeochemical analyses. The bio-optical model provides a pathway to convert commonly measured parameters from glider-borne sensors (CTD, optical triplet sensor – chlorophyll and CDOM fluorescence, backscattering coefficients) to bulk spectral IOPs (absorption, attenuation and backscattering). IOPs derived from glider observations are subsequently used to estimate remote sensing reflectance spectra that compare well with coincident satellite observations, providing independent validation of the general applicability of the bio-optical model. Various challenges in the generation of a robust bio-optical model involving dealing with partial and limited quantity data sets and the interpretation of data from the optical triplet sensor are discussed. Establishing this quantitative link between gliderborne and satellite-borne data sources is an important step in integrating these data streams and has wide applicability for current and future integrated autonomous observation systems.