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The SeaWinds scatterometer onboard QuikSCAT covers approximately 90% of the global ocean under clear and cloudy condition in 24 h, and the standard data product has 25-km spatial resolution. Such spatial resolution is not sufficient to resolve small-scale processes, especially in coastal oceans. Based on range-compressed normalized backscatter and a modified wind retrieval algorithm, a coastal wind dataset at 12.5-km resolution was produced. Even with larger error, the high-resolution winds, in medium to high strength, would still be useful over coastal ocean. Using measurements from moored buoys from the National Buoy Data Center, the high-resolution QuikSCAT wind data are found to have similar accuracy as standard data in the open ocean. The accuracy of both high- and standard-resolution winds, particularly in wind directions, is found to degrade near shore. The increase in error is likely caused by the inadequacy of the geophysical model function/ambiguity removal scheme in addressing coastal conditions and light winds situations. The modified algorithm helps to bring the directional accuracy of the high-resolution winds to the accuracy of the standard-resolution winds in near-shore regions, particularly in the nadir and far zones across the satellite track.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:42 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004