Electrical engineering professor David Weissman has won a $100,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to engage in research that will lead to improvements in satellite sensors that are necessary for weather forecasting and climate monitoring.
Quantifying the Effects of Rain-Induced Sub-footprint Scale Wind Variability on the RapidScat Ku-Band NRCS aims to improve the accuracy of satellite microwave radar instruments that estimate ocean surface wind speeds and direction when rain exists over the regions being observed. These orbiting sensors, radars referred to as “scatterometers”, experience interference when rain is present that diminishes their accuracy.
Dr. Weissman’s project will bring together auxiliary data sets with sea surface wind vectors and surface rain rates that provide higher spatial resolution and accuracy and coincide with the RapidScat scatterometer on the International Space Station (ISS). This will enable a better understanding and evaluation of the physical models used by scatterometers to create global ocean wind vector products, and to illuminate strategies that will improve their accuracy. Electrical engineering student Noah Rood-Goldman ‘18, will assist Dr. Weissman in collecting and organizing data.
Professor Mark Bourassa in the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science at Florida State University, a senior scientist at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies and the NASA team leader for the Ocean Vector Winds Science Team, will collaborate with Dr. Weissman on the project.