The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer (HIRAD) is a new passive microwave remote sensor for hurricane observations that is currently under development by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, NOAA Hurricane Research Division, the University of Central Florida and the University of Michigan. HIRAD is being designed to operate at C-band frequencies of 4, 5, 6, and 7 GHz similar to the successful Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) currently flown on NOAA and USAF Weather Squadron hurricane hunter aircraft. Unlike SFMR, which measures wind speed and rain rate along the ground track directly beneath the aircraft, HIRAD will provide images of the surface wind and rain field over a wide swath (~3 x the aircraft altitude, or ~2000 km from space). The instrument is described in a separate paper presented at this conference.
The present paper describes a set of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) in which measurements from the new instrument as well as those from existing instruments (air, surface, and space-based) are simulated from the output of a numerical model from the University of Miami, and those results are used to construct H*Wind analyses. Evaluations will be presented on the relative impact of HIRAD and other instruments on H*Wind analyses, including the implementation of HIRAD from 2 aircraft altitudes and from a space-based platform.