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Ocean Surface Winds
Satellite-based sensors are capable of systematically providing measurements over the entire globe. Sensors operating at microwave frequencies can make measurements of the ocean surface day and night and under nearly all-weather conditions.
Both active (radar) and passive (radiometer) microwave sensors have been shown capable of retrieving the ocean surface wind speed, with active microwave instruments being used to also retrieve the wind direction. With the Navy's WindSat mission, a space-based radiometer system has also been shown capable of determining the wind direction using polarimetric and multi-look observations. However, the presence of significant cloud liquid water presents significant challenges for the passive polarimetric technique and thus limits its utility in supporting operational marine weather forecasting and warning. The development and refinement of instrumentation and algorithms for ocean surface wind retrieval is an ongoing process being conducted in both the active and passive remote sensing areas.
Ocean Surface Wind products currently available include:
Rain, Sea Ice, SST and Water vapor.