The Ku-band SeaWinds-on-QuikSCAT scatterometer (QuikSCAT) operated continuously from 1999 to 2009. Though its primary mission was to estimate global ocean winds, QuikSCAT has proven useful in a variety of geophysical studies using land backscatter measurements. The end of the primary QuikSCAT mission in 2009 has prompted interest for continuing the QuikSCAT land dataset with other scatterometers. The Oceansat-2 scatterometer (OSCAT), launched in 2009, is a viable candidate for continuing the QuikSCAT time series because of the similarities of both sensors in function and design. An important difference in the sensors is that they operate at slightly different incidence angles. Continuing the time series requires careful cross-calibration of the two sensors. Because the sensor datasets overlapped by only a few weeks in late 2009, the amount of simultaneous data is insufficient to describe temporal and locational variations in the relative calibration, or difference between QuikSCAT and OSCAT measurements. To overcome this limitation, we perform direct and model-based comparisons of temporally-disjoint QuikSCAT and OSCAT global land measurements to describe the relative calibration. Using homogeneous rainforest targets, we also identify drift and azimuthal biases in the OSCAT dataset and present suggestions for removing them. The relative calibration is found to vary locationally by several tenths of a decibel over certain regions. Evidence is presented that suggests the relative calibration is dependent on environmental factors such as vegetation density and freeze-thaw status and results from the different incidence angles of the measurements.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





QuikSCAT, OSCAT, scatterometer, calibration