The standard L2B ocean wind product from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) is retrieved as a 25 km product on a 12.5 km grid. Ultra-high resolution (UHR) processing allows ASCAT wind retrieval on a high-resolution 1.25 km grid. Ideally, such a high-resolution sample grid provides wind information down to a 2.5 km scale, allowing better analysis of winds with high spatial variability such as those in near-coastal regions and storms. Though the wind field is sampled on a finer grid, the actual data resolution needs to be validated. This thesis provides an analysis and validation of ASCAT UHR wind estimates in order to determine the improvement in resolution compared to the L2B product. This is done using analysis tools such as statistics, the power spectrum, and derivative fields, and through comparison to other high-resolution data such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The improvement of UHR wind retrieval is also explored by reducing ambiguity selection errors and correcting for contamination of wind vectors near land. Results confirm that ASCAT UHR winds contain high-resolution information that is not present in the L2B product. The resolution improvement is difficult to quantify due to a lack of truth data. Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that the resolution is improved by at least a factor of three to 10 km, and perhaps down to 3 or 4 km. It is found through comparison of UHR and SAR winds that (1) both products have common fine-scale features, (2) their comparative statistics are similar to that of L2B and SAR, suggesting that the high resolution content agrees just as well as the low resolution content because the comparison is performed at a finer scale (3) both products have derivative fields that match well, (4) the UHR product benefits from high-resolution direction information, and (5) the UHR product matches better the expected spectral properties of ocean winds. For the UHR processing improvement methods, the model-based improvement of UHR ambiguity selection allows obvious ambiguity errors to be found and corrected, increases the self-consistency of the wind field, and causes the spectrum to better follow a power law at high wavenumbers. The removal of land-contamination from near-coastal wind vectors allows accurate wind retrieval much closer to land and greater visibility of high-resolution wind features near the coast.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





remote sensing, scatterometer, radar, ocean winds, high resolution, power spectrum