Skip to Main Content
WindSat is the first space-based polarimetric microwave radiometer. It is designed to evaluate the capability of polarimetric microwave radiometry to measure ocean surface wind vectors from space. The sensor provides risk reduction for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Conical Scanning Microwave Imager/Sounder, which is planned to provide wind vector data operationally starting in 2010. The channel set also enables retrieval of sea surface temperature, and columnar water vapor and cloud liquid water over the oceans. We describe statistical algorithms for retrieval of these parameters, and a combined statistical/maximum-likelihood estimator algorithm for retrieval of wind vectors. We present a quantitative analysis of the initial wind vector retrievals relative to QuikSCAT wind vectors.