The Winds and Currents Mission Concept

  title={The Winds and Currents Mission Concept},
  author={Ernesto Rodr{\'i}guez and Mark A. Bourassa and Dudley Chelton and J. Thomas Farrar and David G. Long and Dragana Perkovic-Martin and Roger M Samelson},
  journal={Frontiers in Marine Science},
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… 

Figures from this paper

A Ka-Band Wind Geophysical Model Function Using Doppler Scatterometer Measurements from the Air-Sea Interaction Tower Experiment
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
Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next Decade
Ocean surface winds, currents, and waves play a crucial role in exchanges of momentum, energy, heat, freshwater, gases, and other tracers between the ocean, atmosphere, and ice. Despite surface waves
Ka-Band Doppler Scatterometry over a Loop Current Eddy
It is shown that, like Ku-band, Ka-band estimates of winds are related to neutral winds and are referenced relative to the moving frame provided by the current, which is useful for the study of air-sea interactions, but must be accounted for when using scatterometer winds for weather prediction.
Retrieval of Ocean Surface Currents and Winds Using Satellite SAR backscatter and Doppler frequency shift
Ocean surface winds and currents play an important role for weather, climate, marine life, ship navigation, oil spill drift and search and rescue. In-situ observations of the ocean are sparse and
Ka-Band Doppler Scatterometry: A Strong Wind Case Study
Global joint measurements of sea surface winds and currents are planned using satellite-based Doppler scatterometers operating in the Ka-band to achieve improved spatial resolution and retrieval
Wind work at the air-sea interface: A Modeling Study in Anticipation of Future Space Missions
. Wind work at the air-sea interface is the transfer of kinetic energy between the ocean and the atmosphere and, as such, is an important part of the atmosphere-ocean coupled system. Since wind work
On the Surface Current Measurement Capabilities of Spaceborne Doppler Scatterometry
Wide‐swath spaceborne Doppler scatterometry is a promising technique for the simultaneous measurement of global ocean surface winds and currents. The technique has been proven from airborne
Reconstructing Ocean Surface Current Combining Altimetry and Future Spaceborne Doppler Data
Two methods for the mapping of ocean surface currents from satellite measurements of sea level and future current vectors are presented and contrasted. Both methods rely on the linear and Gaussian ...
Analyzing Gaps in Hurricane Rain Coverage to Inform Future Satellite Proposals
This study assesses where tropical cyclone surface winds can be measured as a function of footprint sizes and wavelengths and examines how smaller footprint sizes could be used to observe through gaps between moderate to heavy rainbands that circulate around the main low-pressure center of a TC.


Measuring currents, ice drift, and waves from space: the Sea surface KInematics Multiscale monitoring (SKIM) concept
We propose a satellite mission that uses a near-nadir Ka-band Doppler radar to measure surface currents, ice drift and ocean waves at spatial scales of 40 km and more, with snapshots at least every
Satellite Measurements Reveal Persistent Small-Scale Features in Ocean Winds
Four-year averages of 25-kilometer-resolution measurements of near-surface wind speed and direction over the global ocean from the QuikSCAT satellite radar scatterometer reveal the existence of
Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next Decade
Ocean surface winds, currents, and waves play a crucial role in exchanges of momentum, energy, heat, freshwater, gases, and other tracers between the ocean, atmosphere, and ice. Despite surface waves
SKIM, a Candidate Satellite Mission Exploring Global Ocean Currents and Waves
The Sea surface KInematics Multiscale monitoring (SKIM) satellite mission is designed to explore ocean surface current and waves. This includes tropical currents, notably the poorly known patterns of
Direct measurements of ocean surface velocity from space: Interpretation and validation
The median Doppler shift of radar echoes is analyzed in measurements by ENVISAT's Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) over the ocean. This Doppler centroid differs from a predicted signal based
Direct ocean surface velocity measurements from space: Improved quantitative interpretation of Envisat ASAR observations
Previous analysis of Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) signals collected by ESA's Envisat has demonstrated a very valuable source of high‐resolution information, namely, the line‐of‐sight
Coastal Validation of Ultra-high Resolution Wind Vector Retrieval From QuikSCAT in the Gulf of Maine
An experimental 2.5-km ultrahigh-resolution (UHR) wind product provided by NASA's QuikSCAT scatterometer offers the potential for new access to coastal surface wind dynamics at the mesoscale level and below and the potential benefits of improved resolution measurements for examining ocean-atmosphere dynamics.
Tropical Pacific near‐surface currents estimated from altimeter, wind, and drifter data
Tropical surface currents are estimated from satellite-derived surface topography and wind stress using a physically based statistical model calibrated by 15 m drogue drifters. The model assumes a
Estimating Ocean Vector Winds and Currents Using a Ka-Band Pencil-Beam Doppler Scatterometer
The results indicate that Ka-band Doppler scatterometry could be a feasible method for wide-swath simultaneous measurements of winds and currents from space.
The surface water and ocean topography mission
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography SWOT mission is a partnership between two communities, physical oceanography and hydrology, to share high vertical accuracy and high spatial resolution