Wednesday, 12 February 2003
QuikSCAT SeaWinds ocean surface wind processing and distribution
An operational QuikSCAT SeaWinds data processing and distribution system is being developed to provide ocean surface wind data to meteorologists and forecasters. The SeaWinds instrument operates by sending radar pulses to the ocean surface and measuring the backscattered radar pulse bounced back to the satellite. By analyzing the echoed radar pulses, wind speed and direction at the ocean surface can be determined. SeaSpace Corporation collaborates with the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University and several other academic and government organizations to provide enhanced SeaWinds-derived products to operational users. The SeaWinds data are processed to derive wind speed, wind direction, vorticity field, rain flag, and surface pressure, customized to meet individual users' specifications, and distributed to operational centers. The SeaWinds wind field and related products provide great values to monitoring weather systems over the oceans, especially to early detection of tropical cyclones.