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ESA EE-9 SKIM airborne demonstrator: first results

Abstract : SKIM is an ESA Earth Explorer-9 candidate mission designed to measure directly and simultaneously, for the first time, directional ocean surface current vector (OSCV) and ocean wave spectra. SKIM will measure at 6° and 12° incidence angle using the pulse-pair radar Doppler technique to observe the sea surface Doppler signal and then derive the ocean surface current. The concept has been first demonstrated using opportunity data from the Ka-band AirSWOT instrument showing unambiguous estimations of the wave spectrum and surface current [Nouguier et al., 2016, IEEE TGRSL]. The DRIFT4SKIM campaign is a dedicated airborne campaign to validate the SKIM concept. In order to assess this capability, airborne Doppler measurement will be compared with a wide range of observations that cover all instruments generally used as reference for the measurement of both currents and the driving forces of currents (wind, temperature gradient, waves). The DRIFT4SKIM campaign, takes place in the Iroise sea (4 to 6°W, 48 to 49°N) end of November 2018 (after the deadline for the abstract). Observations will be performed in two 4-km side squares located in the field-of-view of a shore-based HF radar system (measuring surface current vectors):one where currents are spatially homogeneous; and one where strong horizontal current gradients are present. Two microwave radars will observed the sea surface: KuROS is a near nadir Ku-band conical scanning fan-beam real aperture pulse-coherent radar (Caudal et al., 2014, JAOT) KaRADOC is a near nadir Ka-band narrow-beam real aperture pulse-coherent radar. Additional observations will be carried out from optical cameras with an additional airborne platform in order to confirm the homogeneity of the experiment based on the sea surface temperature, and provide additional observations of wave spectrum and current. Ocean surface processes will be characterized using in situ instrumentation with a large number (100) of surface drifters (current in the top meter); drogue drifters (10 for each drogue depth) at 15, 5, 2 and 1 m; 10 drifting wave measuring buoys; wind measurement and a buoy carrying current profiler. The paper will present a first analysis of the microwave radar Doppler measurements and assessed these measurements against the geophysical conditions which will be well monitored during the campaign with comparison with in situ measurements.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 10:46:44 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 10, 2020 - 4:26:26 PM


  • HAL Id : insu-02330830, version 1


A. Martin, L. Marié, F. Boy, F. Collard, F. Nouguier, et al.. ESA EE-9 SKIM airborne demonstrator: first results. Living Planet Symposium, ESA, May 2019, Milan, Italy. ⟨insu-02330830⟩



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