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Ocean surface wind fields estimated from satellite active and passive microwave instruments

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4 Author(s)
A. Bentamy ; Inst. Francais de Recherche et d'Exploitation de la MER, Plouzane, France ; P. Queffeulou ; Y. Quilfen ; K. Katsaros

This study examines the consistency of surface wind-speeds estimated from the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-1) scatterometer, ERS-1 altimeter, and the special sensor microwave/imager (SSM/I). The goal is to combine these wind estimates to produce surface wind fields. With this in mind, a comparison with buoy wind measurements and comparison among the three sensors is performed. According to the in situ data, the rms errors of the three wind estimates are all within 2 m/s. The differences between the remotely sensed and buoy windspeeds are studied according to atmospheric and oceanic variables, and their impact is shown. A large data base is obtained from the comparisons among the three sensor winds. The rms values of the differences between the scatterometer and the altimeter and between the scatterometer and the SSM/I are 1.67 and 1.45 m/s, respectively. There is no global bias between the scatterometer and the SSM/I, but between the scatterometer and the altimeter windspeeds, the bias is about 0.30 m/s. Furthermore, it is shown that the difference between the scatterometer and the altimeter wind estimates is dependent on the significant wave height, while the difference between the scatterometer and the SSM/I winds is dependent on the integrated water vapor content. The comparison enables some corrections to be made for consistency and combining products. The use of combining scatterometer, altimeter, and SSM/I wind estimates is illustrated by two examples

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 5 )