Ocean winds and waves, extreme events

Wind and wave measurement from active spaceborne sensors such as SAR, scatterometer or altimeter, is an major research topic at CERSAT, with a strong involvement into related ESA or CNES missions such as ERS, Envisat, CFOSat and Sentinel, and a particular focus on extreme events (storms and long swells).

Research and development activities at CERSAT mostly targets the following areas :

Support to satellite missions

  • development of processing algorithms for wind and wave retrieval from SAR, scatterometer and altimeters
  • involvement in the design and definition of future missions
  • cal/val and long-term monitoring of existing instruments
  • data processing and dissemination
  • reprocessing of historical archives, such as Envisat and ERS SAR wave mode.

Advanced products

  • dynamic high-level wave products derived from SAR observation, such the swell fireworks
  • easy to use multi-mission homogeneous and consistent time series of wave measurements, like those developed in the frame of GlobWave project
  • blended satellite and model products providing higher spatial and temporal resolution such as the QuikSCAT/ECMWF blended L4 products produced for MyOcean project

Detection and characterization of extreme events

  • detection and tracking of storms and cross-sensor observation indexing.

Swell animation from ENVISAT ASAR instrument

Beautiful "fireworks" of observations of swell waves generated by storms.