Determination of the water-leaving spectral radiance using in-water instrumentation requires measurements of the upwelling spectral radiance (L u) at several depths. If these measurements are separated in time, changes in the measurement conditions result in increased variance in the results. A prototype simultaneous multi-track system was developed to assess the potential reduction in the Type A uncertainty in single set, normalized water-leaving radiance achievable if the data were acquired simultaneously. The prototype system employed a spectrograph and multi-track fiber-coupled CCD-detector; in situ in-water tests were performed with the prototype system fiber-coupled to a small buoy. The experiments demonstrate the utility of multi-channel simultaneous data acquisition for in-water measurement applications. An example of the potential impact for tracking abrupt responsivity changes in satellite ocean color sensors using these types of instruments as well as for the satellite vicarious calibration is given.