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Keywords:

  • ocean color;
  • polarization and multidirectionality;
  • radiative transfer;
  • wind speed

[1] The reflection of the direct sunlight onto the rough sea surface (sun glint) generates a strong signal which is informative on wind speed. An original method is described to determine the wind speed values and their associated uncertainty over the ocean using multidirectional and polarimetric data measured by a passive satellite sensor in the visible/near infrared bands, namely PARASOL sensor. The method is able to derive wind speed values for almost 80% of a cloud-free scene. Comparisons with buoys and with the operational wind product of the AMSR-E sensor (NASA) show a satisfactory agreement (coefficient of correlation r > 0.84). This study demonstrates that passive satellite sensors that are able to measure the polarization and multidirectionality features of the radiation at solar wavelengths can be relevant alternative approaches to quantify the wind speed at a spatial resolution at least four times higher than that currently obtained using passive or active microwave sensors.