Calibration of reflected GPS for tropical storm wind speed retrievals



[1] Since 1996 when GPS reflected signals were purposefully acquired, an effort to assess the utility of these signals has been under way. It was early determined that the reflected GPS signal can be related to ocean surface wind dependent slope probability densities. Quantifying that relationship has resulted in considerable data taken at wind speeds below those associated with tropical storms. During the 2005 hurricane season, data were taken in high wind speed conditions that have been used to compare with the U.S. Navy's COAMPS model. The gridded data were used to develop a calibration for high wind speeds which also represents a measurement of apparent ocean surface slopes at L-Band. This paper presents the results of this GPS surface reflection calibration for winds up to 35 meters per second. In addition a simple function is developed that models the mean square slope variation with surface wind speed and includes winds above 35 meters per second. This model is applied to data from Hurricanes Dennis and Isabel to demonstrate the ability of surface reflected GPS signals to yield good retrieval performance for winds at and above tropical storm strength.