Bryan W. Stiles, Brian D. Pollard, Roy Scott Dunbar
IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote. Sens.
The SeaWinds scatterometer was developed by NASA JPL, Pasadena, CA, to measure the speed and direction of ocean surface winds. It was then launched onboard the QuikSCAT spacecraft. The accuracy of the majority of the swath and the size of the swath are such that the SeaWinds on QuikSCAT Mission (QSCAT) meets its science requirements despite shortcomings at certain cross-track positions. Nonetheless, it is desirable to modify the baseline processing in order to improve the quality of the less accurate portions of the swath, in particular near the far swath and nadir. Two disparate problems have been identified for these regions. At far swath, ambiguity removal skill is degraded due to the absence of inner beam measurements, limited azimuth diversity and boundary effects. Near nadir, due to nonoptimal measurement geometry, (measurement azimuths approximately 180/spl deg/ apart) there is a marked decrease in directional accuracy even when ambiguity removal works correctly. Two algorithms have been developed: direction interval retrieval (DIR) to address the nadir performance issue and thresholded nudging (TN) to improve ambiguity removal at far swath. The authors illustrate the impact of the two techniques by exhibiting prelaunch simulation results and postlaunch statistical performance metrics with respect to ECMWF wind fields and buoy data.