92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 1:45 PM
OceanSat-2 Scatterometer Products At NOAA
La Nouvelle A (New Orleans Convention Center )
Paul S. Chang, NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, MD; and S. Soisuvarn, Z. Jelenak, and J. M. Sienkiewicz

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the Oceansat-2 satellite on 23 September 2009. Oceansat-2 carries a radar scatterometer instrument (OSCAT) capable of measuring ocean surface vector winds (OSVW) and an ocean color monitor (OCM), which will retrieve sea spectral reflectance. Oceansat-2 is ISRO's second in a series of satellites dedicated to ocean research. It will provide continuity to the services and applications of the Oceansat-1 OCM data along with the additional data from a Ku-band pencil beam scatterometer. Oceansat-2 is a three-axis, body stabilized spacecraft placed into a near circular sun-synchronous orbit, at an altitude of 720 kilometers (km), with an equatorial crossing time of around 1200 GMT.

ISRO, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) share the common goal of optimizing the quality and maximizing the utility of the Oceansat-2 data for the benefit of future global and regional scientific and operational applications. NOAA, NASA and EUMETSAT have been collaboratively working with ISRO on the assessment and analysis of OSCAT data to help facilitate continuation of QuikSCAT's decade-long Ku-band scatterometer data record. NOAA's primary interests are focused on the utilization of OSCAT data to support operational weather forecasting and warning in the marine environment. OSCAT has the potential to significantly mitigate the loss of NASA's QuikSCAT, which has negatively impacted NOAA's marine forecasting and warning services.

Ocean surface vector wind data received from the NASA QuikSCAT revolutionized operational marine weather warnings, analyses, and forecasting. QuikSCAT data give forecasters the ability to see the detailed wind field over vast ocean areas, to see the inner structure of ocean storms, and to identify areas of ocean wind wave generation. Until the nominal QuikSCAT mission ended on November 23, 2009, its data were routinely used around the world to help provide accurate marine weather warnings and forecasts. Its users spanned government agencies, commercial companies (ship routing, offshore wind farms, weather information providers), and individual users (surfers, sailboat racers, recreational boaters). Satellite OSVW data from QuikSCAT impacted many facets of daily life in marine and coastal communities. OSCAT, being similar to QuikSCAT, has significant potential to positively impact the operational weather forecasting and warning community in the same way that QuikSCAT has. A summary of NOAA's OSCAT processing system and retrieved wind products will be presented.

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