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On the Remote Detection of Swell by Satellite Radar Altimeter

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  • 1 NASA Wallops Flight Center, Wallops Island, VA 23331
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Abstract

A technique is presented whereby the presence of swell can be determined from satellites in orbit. Utilizing an empirical model developed during JONSWAP, a parameter is derived that is shown to be related to the percentage swell present as reported by National Weather Service hindcasters. Only data presently available from existing satellite radar altimeters are needed to map those areas of the oceans dominated by swell.

Abstract

A technique is presented whereby the presence of swell can be determined from satellites in orbit. Utilizing an empirical model developed during JONSWAP, a parameter is derived that is shown to be related to the percentage swell present as reported by National Weather Service hindcasters. Only data presently available from existing satellite radar altimeters are needed to map those areas of the oceans dominated by swell.

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