The scatterometer is a non-imaging weather radar The scatterometer transmits microwave signal and measures the strength of the backscattering radiation (reflection)
- measurements of wind speed and wind direction over the oceans. Groundbased scatterometers are used extensively to accurately measure the backscatter from various targets in order to characterize different materials and surface types.
Examples: NASA Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT):
- Radar: 13.4 gigahertz; 110-watt pulse at 189-hertz pulse repetition frequency (PRF)
- Antenna: 1-meter-diameter rotating dish that produces two spot beams, sweeping in a circular pattern
QuikSCAT measurement capability:
- 1,800-kilometer swath during each orbit provides approximately 90-percent coverage of Earth's oceans every day.
- Wind-speed measurements of 3 to 20 m/s, with an accuracy of 2 m/s; direction, with an accuracy of 20 degrees.
- Wind vector resolution of 25 km