454 Ocean Wind Retrievals from a Possible WindSat Follow-on Mission

Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Michael H. Bettenhausen, NRL, Washington, DC; and P. W. Gaiser

WindSat is a space-based polarimetric microwave radiometer that was launched in 2003 to demonstrate the capability to retrieve ocean surface vector winds. The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) designed, built and operates WindSat. WindSat is now in a semi-operational status with data products being used for assimilation in numerical weather predictions models and by forecasters. NRL has learned much about passive microwave polarimetry through the the design, operation and calibration of WindSat, and development of ground processing algorithms as well as the design of the Microwave Imager Sounder (MIS) for the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). MIS was transferred to the Defense Weather Satellite System which was subsequently cancelled in 2011.

This presentation will discuss lessons learned from NRL WindSat and MIS work and how they could be applied to the design of a future WindSat follow-on mission and the associated algorithms for producing ocean surface wind retrievals. We discuss the potential for improving upon WindSat wind retrieval performance. We will include a discussion of the trade-offs for data availablity and with the capabilities of the instrument to provide data for other applications. Wind retrieval performance will be estimated using WindSat data and simulations.

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