Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Research article
14 Feb 2013
Research article |  | 14 Feb 2013

X-band COSMO-SkyMed wind field retrieval, with application to coastal circulation modeling

A. Montuori, P. de Ruggiero, M. Migliaccio, S. Pierini, and G. Spezie

Abstract. In this paper, X-band COSMO-SkyMed© synthetic aperture radar (SAR) wind field retrieval is investigated, and the obtained data are used to force a coastal ocean circulation model. The SAR data set consists of 60 X-band Level 1B Multi-Look Ground Detected ScanSAR Huge Region COSMO-SkyMed© SAR data, gathered in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea during the summer and winter seasons of 2010. The SAR-based wind vector field estimation is accomplished by resolving both the SAR-based wind speed and wind direction retrieval problems independently. The sea surface wind speed is retrieved by means of a SAR wind speed algorithm based on the azimuth cut-off procedure, while the sea surface wind direction is provided by means of a SAR wind direction algorithm based on the discrete wavelet transform multi-resolution analysis. The obtained wind fields are compared with ground truth data provided by both ASCAT scatterometer and ECMWF model wind fields. SAR-derived wind vector fields and ECMWF model wind data are used to construct a blended wind product regularly sampled in both space and time, which is then used to force a coastal circulation model of a southern Tyrrhenian coastal area to simulate wind-driven circulation processes. The modeling results show that X-band COSMO-SkyMed© SAR data can be valuable in providing effective wind fields for coastal circulation modeling.