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The SeaWinds Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Entry ID: 01-seawinds-99
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Abstract: The purpose of the SeaWinds Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) is to describe the theoretical bases for the major scientific algorithms that will be used in processing the SeaWinds (SWS) data. Satellite-borne radar scatterometers, such as "SeaWinds", are the only remote sensing systems presently capable of providing accurate, frequent, high-resolution measurements of ocean near-surface wind speed and direction in both clear-sky and cloudy conditions. However, scatterometer measurements are highly indirect, and significant processing is required to estimate near-surface wind velocity from the backscattered power measured directly by the scatterometer.

Knowledge of wind velocity over the ocean is of critical importance for understanding and predicting many oceanographic, meteorological, and climate phenomena. Measurements of surface wind velocity can be assimilated into regional and global numerical weather prediction systems, thereby extending and improving our ability to predict future weather patterns on many scales. The SeaWinds instrument on the QuikSCAT satellite is a specialized microwave radar that measures near-surface wind speed and direction under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans.

Service Citation
Originators: M.H. Freilich, P.I.
Title: SeaWinds Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Provider: NASA
ISO Topic Category
This site is best suited for scientists and researchers.
Access Constraints
All ATBDs are provided in PDF format which can be viewed with Adobe
Acrobat. Adobe Acrobat is a freely downloadable document viewer.

SeaWinds QuikSCAT data are currently only available to members of the
QuikSCAT Science Team for cal/val purposes. Distribution to
the general public is expected to begin early in 2000 from the
Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center PO.DAAC at
Service Provider
Earth Science Data and Information System Project, Earth Observing System,Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA

Service Provider Personnel
Phone: 301-614-5636
Fax: 301-614-5620
Email: michael.d.king at
Contact Address:
Goddard Space Flight Center
Mailstop 610.0
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA
Distribution Media
Distribution_Media: Electronic
Distribution_Size: 519 KB
Distribution_Format: pdf file
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA

Phone: 541-737-2748
Fax: 541-737-2064
Email: mhf at
Contact Address:
College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University
Oceanographic Admin. Bldg. 104
City: Corvallis
Province or State: OR
Country: United States
Numerous references are available starting on page 54 of the SeaWinds
ATBD pdf file.
Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 1999-11-04
SERF Last Revision Date: 2013-07-03
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