Project Description
The SeaWinds scatterometer is a specialized microwave radar that
measures near-surface wind velocity (both speed and direction) under
all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans. This is a twin
sister to the QuikSCAT sensor and it was launched onboard the Japanese
ADEOS-II Spacecraft on December 14, 2002 to provide similar
observations beyond the QuikSCAT mission. The experiment is a
follow-on mission and continues the data series initiated in 1996 by
the NSCAT.

SeaWinds is a part of the Earth Observing System (EOS) which is
designed to address global environmental changes, and is a joint
mission with the National Space Development Agency of Japan
(NASDA). Winds are a critical factor in determining regional weather
patterns and climate. Oceans cover 70 percent of Earth's surface, and
as the only remote-sensing system to provide accurate, frequent,
high-resolution measurements of ocean surface wind velocities, under
all weather conditions, scatterometers play an increasingly important
role in oceanographic, meteorological and climate studies.

As part of the SeaWinds Project, NASA sponsors a team of scientific
investigators who advised the project during the development of the
instrument and ground data processing system. The science team will
conduct research with SeaWinds data; their studies are expected to
lead to improved methods of global weather forecasting and modeling.

The SeaWinds Project is managed for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise by
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute
of Technology.

For more information on SeaWinds, see:
http://winds.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/seawinds/seaindex.html

For more information on Earth Science Enterprise, see:
http://earth.nasa.gov/