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In this paper, we show how satellite images taken by space-borne radar sensors can be used to determine mesoscale high-resolution wind fields in synergy with cloud parameters from optical data and, thus, help in the task of maintenance and planning offshore wind farms. The aim of this paper is to use synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and medium resolution imaging spectrometer (MERIS) onboard the environmental satellite (ENVISAT) in synergy to analyze severe weather systems, in particular, to describe the spatial evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer processes involved in cold air outbreaks. We investigated the fine-scale structure of a severe weather case on November 1, 2006 over the North Sea using satellite data. The satellite data are compared with numerical model results of the German Weather Service ldquoLokal Modellrdquo (LM) and the high-resolution limited area model (HIRLAM). LM and HIRLAM show differences in mesoscale turbulent behavior and coastal shadowing. Maximum wind speeds of up to 25 m/s are measured by SAR and are confirmed by the models. Significant differences are observed in the location of the maxima. High-resolution ENVISAT ASAR measurements provide very detailed information on small-scale atmospheric features, which seem to not be captured well by the analyzed numerical models, in particular, in coastal areas. Meteosat second generation (MSG) is used to determine the movement of cloud patterns. Cloud patterns seen in the optical data and radar cross-section modulation give a consistent dynamical picture of the atmospheric processes. The relevance for offshore wind farming is discussed.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:1 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: March 2008