NOAA high resolution sea surface winds data from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on the RADARSAT-2 satellite

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Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)-derived high resolution wind products are calculated from high resolution SAR images of normalized radar cross section (NRCS) of the Earth's surface. Backscattered microwave radar returns from the ocean surface are strongly dependent on wind speed and direction. When no wind is present, the surface of the water is smooth, almost glass-like. Radar energy will largely be reflected away and the radar cross section will be low. As the wind begins to blow, the surface roughens and surface waves begin to develop. As the wind continues to blow more strongly, the amplitude of the wave increases, thus, roughening the surface more. As the surface roughness increases, more energy is backscattered and NRCS increases. Moreover, careful examination of the wind-generated waves reveals that these surface wave crests are generally aligned perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction, suggesting a dependence of backscatter on the relative direction between the incident radar energy and the wind direction. This data set consists of high resolution sea surface winds data derived from SAR on-board RADARSAT-2 satellite. The basic archive file is a NetCDF4 file containing SAR wind, a land mask, and time and earth location information. Also archived are the maps of the SAR wind in GeoTiFF format. The product utilizes the CoastWatch product format and covers the geographic extent of the SAR image frame from which it was derived.
  • Cite as: Pichel, William G.; Monaldo, Francis M.; Jackson, Christopher R.; Sapper, John; Hatteberg, Rachel (2015). NOAA high resolution sea surface winds data from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on the RADARSAT-2 satellite. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. doi:10.7289/V5M906NS [access date]
gov.noaa.nodc:SAR-WINDS-RSAT2
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Distribution Formats
  • netCDF (Version: 3)
    • File Specification: CoastWatch Satellite Data Encoding, March 2010
  • TIFF (Version: 6.0)
    • File Specification: Tagged Image File Format
Ordering Instructions Data may be searched and downloaded using online services provided by NCEI using the online resource URLs in this record. Contact NCEI Information Services for custom orders. When requesting data from NCEI, the desired data set may be referred to by the unique package identification number listed in this metadata record.
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Information Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Time Period 2014-05-02 to Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 90
S: -90
E: 180
W: -180
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
  • Dataset Description
    Navigate directly to the URL for a descriptive web page with download links.
Associated Resources
  • Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document For Retrieval of Winds from Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • A Systematic Comparison of the Effect of Polarization Ratio Models on Sea Surface wind retrieval from C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Ocean vector winds retrieval from C-Band fully polarimetric SAR measurements
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2015-05-07
  • revision: 2018-09-05
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Ongoing - data is continually being updated
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
Individual SAR images with wind data at a resolution of 0.5 km are obtained from Alaska waters and the North Pacific covering the region: 179.0E to -179.0W, 75.0N to 40.0N. Some coverage has been obtained over Hawaii, the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, and the northern gulf of Mexico.
SAR products support the following mission/projects: Weather and Water, Ecosystems, Commerce and Transportation, hazard monitoring and response, CoastWatch, the National Ice Center, the Office of Response and Restoration Emergency Response Division, and other NOAA offices.
Purpose Basic research
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Pichel, William G.; Monaldo, Francis M.; Jackson, Christopher R.; Sapper, John; Hatteberg, Rachel (2015). NOAA high resolution sea surface winds data from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on the RADARSAT-2 satellite. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. doi:10.7289/V5M906NS [access date]
Cited Authors
Contributors
Resource Providers
Points of Contact
Publishers
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science and Services Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > ATMOSPHERIC WINDS > SURFACE WINDS > WIND SPEED
NetCDF Climate and Forecast (CF) Metadata Convention Standard Name Table
  • latitude
  • longitude
  • time
  • wind_speed
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/STAR > Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS
Platform keywords NODC PLATFORM NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • RADARSAT-2
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • SAR > Synthetic Aperture Radar
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > CANADA > GREAT LAKES, CANADA
  • CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > GREAT LAKES
  • GEOGRAPHIC REGION > GLOBAL OCEAN
  • OCEAN > ARCTIC OCEAN
  • OCEAN > ARCTIC OCEAN > BARENTS SEA
  • OCEAN > ARCTIC OCEAN > BEAUFORT SEA
  • OCEAN > ARCTIC OCEAN > CHUKCHI SEA
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN > BALTIC SEA
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN > GULF OF ST LAWRENCE
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORWEGIAN SEA
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN > BERING SEA
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN > GULF OF ALASKA
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN > SEA OF JAPAN
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN > SEA OF OKHOTSK
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN > EAST CHINA SEA
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN > YELLOW SEA
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Pichel, William G.; Monaldo, Francis M.; Jackson, Christopher R.; Sapper, John; Hatteberg, Rachel (2015). NOAA high resolution sea surface winds data from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on the RADARSAT-2 satellite. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. doi:10.7289/V5M906NS [access date]
Access Constraints
  • NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Fees
  • Digital data may be downloaded from NCEI at no charge in most cases. For custom orders of digital data or to obtain a copy of analog materials, please contact NCEI Information Services for information about current fees.
Lineage information for: series
Processing Steps
  • 2015-05-07T11:50:45 - NCEI Accession 0127453 v1.1 was published.
  • 2015-05-07T20:48:24 - NCEI Accession 0127454 v1.1 was published.
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  • 2018-04-29T02:22:48 - NCEI Accession 0157732 was revised and v3.3 was published.
  • 2018-04-30T18:36:52 - NCEI Accession 0159806 was revised and v2.2 was published.
  • 2018-05-06T00:09:56 - NCEI Accession 0173103 v1.1 was published.
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Output Datasets
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • SAR
Platform
  • RADARSAT-2
Last Modified: 2018-09-05T13:54:53
For questions about the information on this page, please email: NODC.DataOfficer@noaa.gov