BackForwardInstrument:  SCA (Scatterometer) 

Instrument details
Acronym SCA (Scatterometer)
Full name Scatterometer
Purpose Sea surface wind vector. Also large-scale soil moisture
Short description C-band (5.355 GHz), side looking both left and right. 3 antennas on each side
Background Evolution of ASCAT on MetOp A/B/C
Scanning Technique Two 660-km swaths separated by a 525-km gap along-track. 3 looks each pixel (45, 90 and 135° azimuth)
Resolution Nominal: 25 km with sampling at 12.5 km intervals. High-resolution mode: 15-20 km with sampling at 6.25 km intervals.
Coverage / Cycle Near-global coverage in 1.5 days
Mass 600 kg Power 540 W Data Rate 5 Mbps

 

Providing Agency ESA
Instrument Maturity Backed by strong heritage
Utilization Period: ≥2024 to ≥2045
Last update: 2019-08-13
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Active and radio-occultation sensor
  • Scatterometer
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Wind speed (near surface)
  • Wind vector (near surface)
Secondary mission objectives
  • Sea-ice type
  • Soil moisture (in the roots region)
  • Soil moisture at surface
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Biomass3 - highIndex only.. Coarse spatial resolution.C-band sensitive to total biomass
Leaf Area Index (LAI)3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.C-band scatterometer sensitive to LAI
Sea-ice type1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Scatterometer, C-band (around 5.3 GHz). Type interpreted as age/roughness
Snow cover3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Thick snow only.Scatterometer in C-band (around 5.3 GHz)
Snow status (wet/dry)3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Thick snow only.Scatterometer in C-band (around 5.3 GHz)
Snow water equivalent5 - marginalCoarse spatial resolution.. Ground stations network needed.Scatterometer in C-band (around 5.3 GHz)
Soil moisture (in the roots region)3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Affected by vegetation.Scatterometer in C-band (around 5.3 GHz). Assimilation process required
Soil moisture at surface3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Affected by vegetation.Scatterometer in C-band (around 5.3 GHz)
Wind speed (near surface)1 - primaryOver sea only.C-band scatterometer around 5.3 GHz
Wind vector (near surface)2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Over sea only.. Highly indirect.C-band scatterometer around 5.3 GHz