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The Scatterometer menu to your right provide information concerning the SPPA activities for this instrument. 


A brief description of the instrument, its operations and main mission highlights is available in the sections below:

  Sensor Description   |    Sensor Modes   |   Mission Operations Overview     

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The purpose of the Wind Scatterometer is to obtain information on wind speed and direction at the sea surface for incorporation into models, global statistics and climatological datasets. It operates by recording the change in radar reflectivity of the sea due to the perturbation of small ripples by the wind close to the surface. Since the energy in these ripples increases with wind velocity, backscatter increases with wind velocity. 

ERS-2 C-band scatterometer data over a tropical cyclone
Time Period 21 April 1995 – 5 July 2011
Frequency 5.3 GHz ± 52 kHz (C band)
Antenna Azimuth Orientations Three fixed
Polarizations Linear vertical (VV)
Beam Resolution Range Gate
Resolution 25/50 km
Number of pulses per 50 km 256
Swath width 500 km
Incidence Angle 18 – 59o
Orbit Sun-synchronous
780 km altitude
98.52° inclination
Table 1 - Operating characteristics of the ERS-2 Wind Scatterometer.
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