2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 9:45 AM
Progress in Spaceborne Scatterometer and Science Application
W. Timothy Liu, NASA/JPL, Pasaden, CA
In the past decade, the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched four scatterometers to measure ocean surface wind vectors. The daily coverage increases from 40% to over 90%, and spatial resolution increases from 50 km to 12.5 km. A brief review on their characteristics will be presented. The high resolution winds include more structures than wind products from operational numerical weather forecasts; the superior resolution is crucial in studies of tropical cyclones, coastal eddies and wind jets. Together with other spacebased sensors, new ocean-atmosphere interaction processes are revealed. The synoptc global view also exposes new processes in the southern and tropical oceans where observations are sparse. The scientific impact of one decade of spacebased scatterometer observations will be reviewed. Starting 2002, there will be two wide-swath scatterometers flying in tandem, providing global high frequency (diurnal) wind vector field for the first time. The plan of continuous monitoring high frequency wind forcing of the ocean will be surveyed. Infusion of new technology (polarimetric scatterometer) to improve the measurements while preserving the continuity of the long time series will be discussed

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