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Scientists pairing two radar instruments with different sensitivities to ripples on the ocean surface may be able to measure the entire range of sea surface wind speeds—vital parameters that affect climate and the ocean environment.

Ocean ripples detected via remote radar sensing are effective tracers of sea surface wind velocity [Woiceshyn et al., 1986; Wu, 1990b]. The scatterometer, which detects the scattering of radar waves by ripples on the sea surface, is deployed on Earth-orbiting satellites to map wind velocities over the world' oceans. The scatterometer/wind anemometry relationship has been derived from data collected mainly under intermediate wind velocities.