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Short pulse radar used to measure sea surface wind speed and SWH

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3 Author(s)
Hammond, D.L. ; Naval Research Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Mennella, R. ; Walsh, E.J.

A joint airborne measurement program is being pursued by NRL and NASA Wallops Flight Center to determine the extent to which wind speed and sea surface significant wave height (SWH) can be measured quantitatively and remotely with a short pulse (2 ns), wide-beam (60deg), nadir-looking 3-cm radar. The concept involves relative power measurements only and does not need a scanning antenna, doppler filters, or absolute power calibration. The slopes of the leading and trailing edges of the averaged received power for the pulse limited altimeter are used to infer SWH and surface wind speed. The interpretation is based on theoretical models of the effects of SWH on the leading edge shape and rms sea-surface slope on the trailing-edge shape. The models include the radar system parameters of antenna beam width and pulsewidth. Preliminary experimental results look promising and indicate that it may be possible to design a relatively compact airborne radar to infer, in real-time, the sea surface SWH and surface wind speed.

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )