RapidScat is a spaceborne wind scatterometer mounted on the International Space Station (ISS). The RapidScat mission lasted from September 2014 to November 2016. RapidScat enables the measurement of diurnal patterns of sigma-0 measurements. This capability is possible because of the non-sun-synchronous orbit of the ISS, in which the local time of day (LTOD) of sigma-0 measurements gradually shifts over time in any given location. The ISS platform is a relatively unstable platform for wind scatterometers. Because of the varying attitude of the ISS, RapidScat experiences a constant variation of its pointing vector. Variations of the pointing vector cause variations in the incidence angle of the measurement on the ground, which has a direct effect on sigma-0 measurements. In order to mitigate sigma-0 variations caused by incidence angle and LTOD, the dependence of on these parameters is modeled in order to enable a normalization procedure for sigma-0 . These models of sigma-0 dependence are determined in part by comparing RapidScat data with other active Ku-band instruments. The normalization procedure is designed to adjust the mean value of sigma-0 to be constant across the full range of significant parameter values to match the mean of sigma-0 at a particular nominal parameter value. The normalization procedure is tested both in simulation and with real sigma-0 measurements. The simulated normalization procedure is effective at modeling and removing sigma-0 dependence on incidence angle and LTOD over a homogeneous region. The variance in simulated images is reduced by the normalization procedure. The normalization procedure also reduces variance in real backscatter images of the Amazon and an arbitrary region in East Africa.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





RapidScat, scatterometer, sigma-0, calibration, radar, image