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Error Analysis of Synthetic Aperture Radar Retrieved Wind Speeds

Jochen Horstmann(1)

(1) GKSS Research Center, Max-Planck-Str.1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany


Today wind speed retrieval from C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data is performed using empirical C-band scatterometer models that give the relation between the wind vector, imaging geometry and normalized radar cross section (NRCS). The major errors sources are due to uncertainties in wind direction and the normalized radar cross section as well as a possible wind speed ambiguities, which occur because at certain winds and incidence angles two wind speed solutions may exist for each NRCS. Using the C-band scatterometer model Cmod5 the wind speed errors are estimated for each of the error sources. These analysis result in SAR wind speed confidence maps. For demonstration of the significance of these errors SAR retrieved wind fields of hurricanes are analysed resulting in wind speed confidence maps explaining some of the problems of SAR wind speed retrieval under extreme wind speed situations.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry