The dependence of sea surface directional reflectance on surface wind stress suggests a method for deriving surface wind speed from space-based lidar measurements of sea surface backscatter. In particular, lidar measurements in the nadir angle range from 10° to 30° appear to be most sensitive to surface wind-speed variability in the regime below 10 m/s. The Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) shuttle lidar mission of September 1994 provided a unique opportunity to measure directional backscatter at selected locations by use of the landmark track maneuver and to measure fixed-angle backscatter from the ocean surfaces on a global scale. During the landmark track maneuver the shuttle orbiter orientation and roll axis are adjusted continuously to maintain the lidar footprint at a fixed location for a duration of ~1 min. Several data sets were converted to calibrated reflectance units and compared with a surface reflectance model to deduce surface wind speeds. Comparisons were made with ERS-1 scatterometer data and surface measurements.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering
Robert T. Menzies, David M. Tratt, and William H. Hunt, "Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment Measurements of Sea Surface Directional Reflectance and the Link to Surface Wind Speed," Appl. Opt. 37, 5550-5559 (1998)