Optimizing sigma0 Information From the Jason-2 Altimeter

Edited: 2011-02-18
TitleOptimizing sigma0 Information From the Jason-2 Altimeter
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsQuartly, G. D.
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Date Published07/2009
Keywordsjason, sea_level, sigma0
AbstractA radar altimeter's normalized backscatter, sigma 0 , is used in many oceanographic applications to infer values of wind speed, wind stress, rain rate, and the presence of biogenic slicks. The waveform retracker used to estimate the key geophysical variables for the altimeters on the Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites shows increased small-scale variability since the problem is ill-conditioned. A simple empirical adjustment to sigma 0 improves the separability between various parameters and also improves the along-track profiles of sigma 0 . This leads to the following: 1) more realistic wind fields; 2) better discrimination of rain events; and 3) improved comparison between the Jason-1 and Jason-2 altimeters during their tandem mission.