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This paper describes a realistic computer simulation of airborne hurricane surveillance using the recently developed microwave remote sensor, the hurricane imaging radiometer (HIRAD). An end-to-end simulation is described of HIRAD wind speed and rain rate measurements during two hurricanes while flying on a high-altitude aircraft. This simulation addresses the particular challenge which is accurate hurricane wind speed measurements in the presence of intense rain rates. The objective of this research is to develop baseline retrieval algorithms and provide a wind speed measurement accuracy assessment for future hurricane flights including the NASA GRIP hurricane field program that was conducted in summer of 2010. Examples of retrieved hurricane wind speed and rain rate images are presented, and comparisons of the retrieved parameters with two different numerical hurricane models data are made. Special emphasis is provided on the wind speed measurement error, and statistical results are presented over a broad range of wind and rain conditions over the full measurement swath (earth incidence angle).
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:50 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Jan. 2012