The southern ocean waves experiment. Part III: Sea surface slope statistics and near-nadir remote sensing

Academic Article


  • Abstract During the Southern Ocean Waves Experiment (SOWEX), registered ocean wave topography and backscattered power data at Ka band (36 GHz) were collected with the NASA Scanning Radar Altimeter (SRA) off the coast of Tasmania under a wide range of wind and sea conditions, from quiescent to gale-force winds with 9-m significant wave height. Collection altitude varied from 35 m to over 1 km, allowing determination of the sea surface mean square slope (mss), the directional wave spectrum, and the detailed variation of backscattered power with incidence angle, which deviated from a simple Gaussian scattering model. The non-Gaussian characteristics of the backscatter increased systematically with the mss, suggesting that a global model to characterize Ka-band radar backscatter from the sea surface within 25° of nadir might be possible.
  • Authors

  • Walsh, EJ
  • Banner, ML
  • Wright, CW
  • Vandemark, Douglas
  • Chapron, B
  • Jensen, J
  • Lee, S
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 2008
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 670
  • End Page

  • 685
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 3