Variational Retrievals of High Winds Using Uncalibrated CyGNSS Observables

Estel Cardellach, Yang Nan, Weiqiang Li, Ramon Padullés, Serni Ribó, Antonio Rius
2020 Remote Sensing  
This study presents a new retrieval approach for obtaining wind speeds from CyGNSS level-1 observables. Unlike other existing approaches, (1) this one is a variational technique that is based on a physical forward model, (2) it uses uncalibrated bin raw counts observables, (3) the geophysical information content comes from only one pixel of the broader delay-Doppler map, finest achievable resolution in level-1 products over the sea, and (4) calibrates them against track-wise polynomial
more » ... ts to a background numerical weather prediction model. Through comparisons with the background model, other spaceborne sensors (SMAP, SMOS, ASCAT-A/B), and CyGNSS wind retrievals by other organizations, the study shows that this approach has skills to infer wind speeds, including hurricane force winds. For example, the Pearson's correlation coefficient between these CyGNSS retrievals and ERA5 is 0.884, 0.832 with NOAA CyGNSS results, and 0.831 with respect to SMAP co-located measurements. Furthermore, the variational retrieval algorithm is a simplified version of the more general equations that are used in data assimilation, and the calibration scheme could also be integrated in the assimilation process. Therefore, this approach is also a good tool for analyzing the potential performance of ingesting uncalibrated level-1 single-pixel observables into NWP.
doi:10.3390/rs12233930 fatcat:c6w5htb6dvabxpjsg53xg6kgr4