Directivity of wind vectors derived from the ERS-1/AMI scatterometer

Naoto Ebuchi, Hans C. Graber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Directional distribution of the wind vectors observed by the ERS-1 active microwave instrument (AMI) scatterometer over the global oceans is investigated to examine effects of errors in the geophysical model function used to retrieve the wind vectors from backscattering measurements. Three scatterometer data products, together with wind data derived from two operational meteorological analysis models, are analyzed and compared with each other for a period of 2 months. Frequency distributions of the wind directions relative to the midbeam looking direction are calculated in bins of 10°. It is found that scatterometer-derived wind vectors may exhibit systematic directional preference relative to the antenna beams in comparison with those of the model winds. This artificial directivity is considered to be caused by imperfections in the model function used to retrieve the wind vectors. Dependencies of the directional distributions on incidence angle and wind speed are also discussed for each data products. The distribution of wind directions is very sensitive to the errors in the model function and can be used as an effective measure of self-consistency to validate the model function and retrieved wind vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7787-7797
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number3334
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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