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Regional Mapping of the Offshore Wind Resource: Towards a Significant Contribution From Space-Borne Synthetic Aperture Radars

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4 Author(s)
Philippe Beaucage ; Inst. Nat. de la Rech. Sci., Varennes, QC ; Monique Bernier ; GaËtan Lafrance ; Julien Choisnard

This paper reviews and discusses the benefits of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite imagery for regional mapping of the offshore wind resources, mostly in comparison to the more standard approach of numerical mesoscale and/or microscale models. Remote sensing measurements can be used as a complementary approach to numerical models, as well as a semi-autonomous approach to assess offshore and coastal wind resources using such methods as the newly developed strategic sampling. An important benefit of using SAR satellite data is to validate numerical model results, and possibly to provide surface wind data to pilot numerical models in coastal regions where observations are scarce. A relatively small sample of SAR scenes can already indicates the best wind sites for offshore wind farms that should be investigated for further analysis. Finally, future challenges facing remote sensing to support the wind energy fields, including new satellites and methodology improvements for the SAR technique, are reviewed.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 1 )