The advanced scatterometer (ASCAT) wind data processor (AWDP) produces ocean surface vector winds from radar measurements by the ASCAT on board the Metop satellites. So far, the ASCAT-coastal product with a grid size of 12.5 km has been the one with the highest resolution. Version 2.4 of AWDP, released May 2016, offers the possibility to process wind data on a 6.25 km grid. In this paper, the true spatial resolution and accuracy of that product is assessed using various methods. The crucial parameter is the radius of the area used to aggregate individual backscatter observations to a wind vector cell (WVC) level. A value of 7.5 km, half of that for ASCAT-coastal, appears to be the best compromise between resolution and accuracy. Spatial responses from multiple radar cross-section measurements are combined to cumulative responses, and show that the ASCAT-6.25 product has a spatial resolution of about 17 km, better than the 28 km found for the ASCAT-coastal product. The accuracy of the ASCAT-6.25 product is estimated using comparison with collocated buoys, triple collocation
analysis, and a new method based on spatial variances. These methods show consistently that the ASCAT-6.25 product contains about 0.2m2/s2 more noise in the wind components than the ASCAT-coastal product, due to the smaller number of individual measurements contributing to the average radar cross section in a WVC. The ASCAT-6.25 product is intended for applications that demand a spatial resolution as high as possible, like the study ofdynamical mesoscale phenomena.
J Vogelzang, A Stoffelen, RD Lindsley, A Verhoef, J Verspeek. The ASCAT 6.25-km wind product
Status: accepted, Journal: IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth O, Year: 2016, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2623862