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AAFE RADSCAT 13.9-GHz measurements and analysis: Wind-speed signature of the ocean

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4 Author(s)
Schroeder, L.C. ; NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA ; Schaffner, P. ; Mitchell, J. ; Jones, W.

About 10 years ago, the advanced application flight experiment radiometer scatterometer (AAFE RADSCAT) made its first successful measurements of ocean radar scattering cross section from a NASA C-130 aircraft. This instrument was developed as a research tool to evaluate the use of microwave frequency remote sensors (particularly radars) to provide wind-speed information at the ocean's surface. The AAFE RADSCAT flight missions and analyses helped establish the feasibility of the satellite scatterometer for measuring both wind speed and direction. Probably the most important function of the AAFE RADSCAT was to provide a data base of ocean normalized radar cross-section (NRCS) measurements as a function of the surface wind vector at 13.9 GHz. NRCS measurements over a wide parametric range of incidence angles, azimuth angles, and winds were obtained in a series of RADSCAT aircraft missions from 1973 to 1977. Presented herein are analyses of data from the 26 RADSCAT flights during which the quality of the sensor and the surface wind measurements were felt to be understood. Subsets of this data base were used to model the relationship between theKu-band radar signature and the ocean-surface wind vector. The models developed partly from portions of this data base, supplemented with data from the Seasat (JASIN Report), were used for inversion of the Seasat-A Satellite Scatterometer (SASS) radar measurements to vector winds. This paper summarizes results from a comprehensive analysis of the RADSCAT/ocean wind signature deduced from this complete data set.

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 4 )