The SeaWinds scatterometers aboard the QuikSCAT and ADEOS II satellites were originally designed to measure wind vectors over the ocean by exploiting the relationship between wind-induced surface roughening and the normalized radar backscatter cross-section. Recently, an algorithm for simultaneously retrieving wind and rain (SWR) from scatterometer measurements was developed that enables SeaWinds to correct rain-corrupted wind measurements and retrieve rain rate data. This algorithm is based on co-locating Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Precipitation Radar (TRMM PR) and SeaWinds on QuikSCAT data. In this thesis, a new wind and rain radar backscatter model is developed for the SWR algorithm using a global co-located data set with rain data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) and backscatter data from the SeaWinds scatterometer aboard the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite 2 (ADEOS II). The model includes the effects of phenomena such as backscatter due to wind stress, atmospheric rain attenuation, and effective rain backscatter. Rain effect parameters of the model vary with integrated rain rate, which is defined as the product of rain height and rain rate. This study accounts for rain height in the model in order to calculate surface rain rate from the integrated rain rate. A simple model for the mean rain height versus latitude and longitude is proposed based on AMSR data and methods of incorporating this model into the SWR retrieval process are developed. The performance of the new SWR algorithm is measured by comparison of wind vectors and rain rates to the previous SWR algorithm, AMSR rain rates, and NCEP numerical weather prediction winds. The new SWR algorithm produces accurate rain estimates and detects rain with a low false alarm rate. The wind correction capabilities of the SWR algorithm are effective at correcting rain-induced inaccuracies. A qualitative comparison of the wind and rain retrieval for Hurricane Isabel demonstrates these capabilities.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





scatterometry, simultaneous, wind, rain, backscatter, model, AMSR, SeaWinds, ADEOS II