31 January 2002. Thanks to L.
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
Friday, January 25 The Volsloh
Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Both lectures begin at 7 p.m.
Admission is free. Seating
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 Earths 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.