31 January 2002. Thanks to L.



SeaWinds Instrument

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Winds and Beyond:
The Radar Scatterometer as a Global Climate Monitoring Device

presented by Mike Spencer,
JPL Radar Systems Engineer

Click here for the archived webcast.

Thursday, January 24 The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA

Friday, January 25 The Volsloh Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

Both lectures begin at 7 p.m.

Admission is free. Seating is limited.
For more information, call (818) 354-0112.

Radar is a well known tool of war, an aid to aviation, and — often to our chagrin — a method of traffic law enforcement. Placed in orbit, radar technology is also an increasingly important technique for monitoring the Earth’s climate. Radar instruments are able to penetrate clouds and “see” phenomena which are unobservable to conventional satellite-based cameras. A particularly versatile type of Earth-sensing radar is the scatterometer.

In recent years scatterometer missions have been developed and flown by JPL primarily to measure to map global wind speed and direction. These data have proven useful in improving the forecast of extreme wind events, such as hurricanes, as well as monitoring longer term climatic effects, such as El Niño. In addition to winds, researchers have found the scatterometer measurements are a sensitive indicator of other environmental processes. These new applications for scatterometry include the monitoring of the polar ice sheet, the detection of deforestation in the Amazon, and prediction of destructive flooding events.