Airborne Measurement of the Sea Surface Wind Vector by a Microwave Radar Altimeter at Low Speed of Flight


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E86-C   No.8   pp.1572-1579
Publication Date: 2003/08/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Microwave and Millimeter Wave Technology)
microwave,  backscattering,  radar altimeter,  wind retrieval,  remote sensing,  

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A pilot needs operational information about wind over sea as well as wave height to provide safety of hydroplane landing on water. Near-surface wind speed and direction can be obtained with an airborne microwave scatterometer, a radar designed for measuring the scatter characteristics of a surface. Mostly narrow-beam antennas are applied for such wind measurement. Unfortunately, a microwave narrow-beam antenna has considerable size that hampers its placement on flying apparatus. In this connection, a possibility to apply a conventional airborne radar altimeter as a scatterometer with a nadir-looking wide-beam antenna in conjunction with simultaneous range Doppler discrimination techniques for recovering the wind vector over sea at low speed of flight is discussed, and measuring algorithms of sea surface wind speed and direction are proposed. The principle considered and algorithms proposed in the paper can be used for creation an airborne radar system for operational measurement of the sea roughness characteristics and for safe landing of a hydroplane on water.