Science Meetings

L-band Active-Passive Microwave Remote Sensing of Ocean Surface Wind During Hurricanes
Yueh, S., Fore, A., Tang, W., Akiko, H., and Stiles, B. (10-July-16)

We investigated the use of L-band active and passive microwave data from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory for remote sensing of ocean surface winds during hurricanes. We analyzed the dependence of SMAP data on ocean surface wind speed and direction, and found excellent consistency with the geophysical model functions developed for the Aquarius L-band radar/radiometer although the spatial resolutions of SMAP and Aquarius are distinctly different. However the higher resolution data from SMAP allowed us to assess the sensitivity of L-band radiometer/radar signals to hurricane force winds. The matchup analysis with the data from typhoon Nangka confirms the feasibility of extrapolating the Aquarius model functions to very high winds. Therefore we applied the Aquarius model function to the retrieval of ocean winds for hurricanes for two options: 1) radiometer-only and 2) radar-only. Comparison of the SMAP winds with the RapidScat and National Center for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) wind was performed. We also compared the maximum wind speed in the SMAP products with the best track analysis and found a good agreement in general.