PIA16219: OSCAT Eyes Hurricane Sandy
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  OSCAT
 Instrument:  OSCAT Scatterometer 
 Product Size:  447 x 337 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  ISRO 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA16219.tif (452.3 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA16219.jpg (43.27 kB)

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This image shows ocean surface winds for Hurricane Sandy observed at 9:00 p.m. PDT Oct. 28 (12:00 a.m. EDT Oct. 29) by the OSCAT radar scatterometer on the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) OceanSat-2 satellite. Colors indicate wind speed and arrows indicate direction. The image shows the large extent of high winds associated with this system. Radar scatterometry enables frequent, more than once per day, observations of Earth's winds over the ocean. This provides additional information to weather forecasters to improve predictions of what areas will be affected by hurricane-level winds.

OSCAT is similar in design to NASA's QuikSCAT satellite, which ceased operations in November 2009. The OSCAT data are provided to NASA and NOAA in near-real time by ISRO. They have been reprocessed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using advanced wind-estimation algorithms to obtain winds with a spatial sampling of about 7.8 miles (12.5 kilometers), an enhancement over ISRO's 31-mile (50-kilometer) data. These resolution improvements help provide a better understanding of hurricane dynamics.

Since NASA's QuikScat ocean wind satellite ceased nominal operations in November 2009, scientists and engineers from NASA, JPL, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have collaborated with ISRO in ongoing efforts to calibrate and validate OSCAT measurements in order to ensure continuous coverage of ocean vector winds for use by the global weather forecasting and climate community.

More on NASA's hurricane research and Irene is online at NASA's hurricanes/tropical cyclones website http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/main/index.html and the JPL TC-IDEAS hurricane website http://hurricanes.jpl.nasa.gov.

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