Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

A simple, objective analysis scheme for scatterometer data


  • Gad Levy,

  • Robert A. Brown


A simple economical objective analysis scheme is devised and tested on real scatterometer data. It is designed to treat dense data such as those of the Seasat A satellite scatterometer (SASS) for individual or multiple passes and preserves subsynoptic scale features. Errors are evaluated with the aid of sampling (“bootstrap”) statistical methods. In addition, sensitivity tests have been performed which establish qualitative confidence in calculated fields of divergence and vorticity. The SASS wind algorithm could be improved; however, the data at this point are limited by instrument errors rather than analysis errors. The analysis error is typically negligible in comparison with the instrument error but amounts to 30% of the instrument error in areas of strong wind shear. The scheme is very economical and thus suitable for large volumes of dense data such as SASS data.