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ERS-2 scatterometer: mission performances and current reprocessing achievements
Crapolicchio, R.; De Chiara, G.; Elyouncha, A.; Lecomte, P.; Neyt, X.; Paciucci, A.; Talone, M. (2012). ERS-2 scatterometer: mission performances and current reprocessing achievements. IEEE Trans. Giosci. Remote Sens. 50(7): 2427-2448.
In: IEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: New York, N.Y.. ISSN 0196-2892; e-ISSN 1558-0644, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Calibration; C-band; European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS);scatterometry; wind vector

Authors  Top 
  • Crapolicchio, R.
  • De Chiara, G.
  • Elyouncha, A., more
  • Lecomte, P.
  • Neyt, X., more
  • Paciucci, A.
  • Talone, M.

    This paper presents an overview of the evolution of the European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS)-2 scatterometer mission during the last 16 years, highlighting the changes in both satellite configuration and on-ground data processing algorithm. Instrument and on-ground data processor performances and evolutions are analyzed and commented; finally, future developments are emphasized. ERS-2 was launched in 1995 by the European Space Agency (ESA). Since then, the active microwave instrument, which is one of the ERS-2 payloads, is providing radar backscattering coefficient measurements by using its three nominal operational acquisition mode: synthetic aperture mode (SAR mode), scatterometer mode (wind mode), and a special combination of the two over ocean where SAR and scatterometer mode are interleaved (wind/wave mode). The main applications for data acquired in scatterometer mode are related to the estimation of the wind vector over the sea surface. In that field, the ERS-2 scatterometer measurements give a very valuable contribution to the accuracy of the numerical weather forecast models, being assimilated in several meteorological weather forecast centers since the beginning of the mission. Other applications of the ERS-2 scatterometer data are over land to retrieve information about the soil water content and over the sea-ice. A constant monitoring of the scatterometer performances is carried out since the beginning of the mission by ESA engineering teams located in ESTEC and ESRIN and the instrument manufacture (Dornier at launch time), in collaboration with several European research institutions, as the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts for product geophysical validation, the Belgian Royal Military Academy for data processing and calibration during the zero-gyro phase, and industrial partners, as Serco SpA for the routine data quality control activities since the beginning of operational phase. Results show outstanding performances even after the failure of several hardware components that has been properly compensated on-ground with evolution of the processor, and many years of operation, which permits the creation of a homogeneous database of wind vectors for the last 16 years (20 years if the ERS-1 mission is considered), in accordance with Global Climate Observing System recommendations.

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