December 13, 2002
Purpose: Radar study of near-surface ocean winds
Scatterometers operate by sending radar pulses to the ocean surface and measuring the "backscattered" or echoed radar pulses bounced back to the satellite. The instrument senses ripples caused by winds near the oceanís surface, from which scientists can compute the windsí speed and direction. The instruments can acquire hundreds of times more observations of surface wind velocity each day than can ships and buoys.
This instrument, called SeaWinds, flies on Japan's Midori 2. The instrument is designed and built by JPL. It is identical to an instrument on JPL's Quick Scatterometer satellite.
For more information, see the SeaWinds on Midori 2 home page.