Close This Window

NASA Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder

Project Description
The NASA Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (SCP) is a NASA
sponsored project to develop scatterometer-based data time series to
support climate studies of the Earth's cryosphere and
biosphere. Originally developed to measure winds over the ocean from
space, scatterometer data has proved to be very useful in a variety of
studies including polar ice and tropical vegetation. Because the
scatterometer radar signal can penetrate the surface, a scatterometer
can observe subsurface/subcanopy climate-related features.

The launch of Seasat, carrying a Ku-band scatterometer (SASS), in 1978
provided a baseline against which studies of global change can be
measured. Other missions have followed SASS, including the C-band
European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Remote Sensing (ERS) -1 and -2
missions (1992+), the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) mission in 1996-97,
SeaWinds on QuikSCAT (1999+), and SeaWinds on ADEOS-II (2002). With
their rapid global coverage, day or night and all-weather operation,
scatterometers offer a unique tool for long-term climate studies. The
goal of the SCP is to provide scatterometer-based datasets to
researchers involved in climate studies.

The SCP datasets are based on a time series of enhanced resolution
images made from the scatterometer backscatter (sigma0) measurements
using the Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR) and SIR w/filtering
algorithms. For the highest possible spatial resolution (as well as to
ensure full coverage over the images) multiple orbit passes are
combined. For SASS, NSCAT, and ERS, images of sigma0 at 40 deg
incidence angle (A) in dB and the slope of sigma0 versus incidence
angle (B) in dB/deg are made. For SeaWinds on sigma0 images at the
observation incidence angle are made. In addition to these images, a
number of ancillary images and products are generated include sea ice
extent maps and sea ice motion data sets.

Contact Information:

Dr. David Long
Director, Center for Remote Sensing
Brigham Young University
459 CB
Provo, UT 84602

Tel: 801.378.4383
Fax: 801.378.6586

For more information,
link to

[Summary provided by NASA]
Close This Window