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ArticleA Ka-band wind Geophysical Model Function using doppler scatterometer measurements from the Air-Sea Interaction Tower experiment(MDPI, 2022-04-26) Polverari, Federica ; Wineteer, Alexander ; Rodríguez, Ernesto ; Perkovic-Martin, Dragana ; Siqueira, Paul ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Adam, Max ; Closa Tarrés, Marc ; Edson, James B.Physical understanding and modeling of Ka-band ocean surface backscatter is challenging due to a lack of measurements. In the framework of the NASA Earth Ventures Suborbital-3 Submesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE) mission, a Ka-Band Ocean continuous wave Doppler Scatterometer (KaBODS) built by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass) was installed on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Air-Sea Interaction Tower. Together with ASIT anemometers, a new data set of Ka-band ocean surface backscatter measurements along with surface wind/wave and weather parameters was collected. In this work, we present the KaBODS instrument and an empirical Ka-band wind Geophysical Model Function (GMF), the so-called ASIT GMF, based on the KaBODS data collected over a period of three months, from October 2019 to January 2020, for incidence angles ranging between 40° and 68°. The ASIT GMF results are compared with an existing Ka-band wind GMF developed from data collected during a tower experiment conducted over the Black Sea. The two GMFs show differences in terms of wind speed and wind direction sensitivity. However, they are consistent in the values of the standard deviation of the model residuals. This suggests an intrinsic geophysical variability characterizing the Ka-band surface backscatter. The observed variability does not significantly change when filtering out swell-dominated data, indicating that the long-wave induced backscatter modulation is not the primary source of the KaBODS backscatter variability. We observe evidence of wave breaking events, which increase the skewness of the backscatter distribution in linear space, consistent with previous studies. Interestingly, a better agreement is seen between the GMFs and the actual data at an incidence angle of 60° for both GMFs, and the statistical analysis of the model residuals shows a reduced backscatter variability at this incidence angle. This study shows that the ASIT data set is a valuable reference for studies of Ka-band backscatter. Further investigations are on-going to fully characterize the observed variability and its implication in the wind GMF development.
ArticleThe winds and currents mission concept(Frontiers Media, 2019-07-24) Rodríguez, Ernesto ; Bourassa, Mark A. ; Chelton, Dudley B. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Long, David ; Perkovic-Martin, Dragana ; Samelson, Roger M.The Winds and Currents Mission (WaCM) is a proposed approach to meet the need identified by the NRC Decadal Survey for the simultaneous measurements of ocean vector winds and currents. WaCM features a Ka-band pencil-beam Doppler scatterometer able to map ocean winds and currents globally. We review the principles behind the WaCM measurement and the requirements driving the mission. We then present an overview of the WaCM observatory and tie its capabilities to other OceanObs reviews and measurement approaches.