Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 1053–1060, 2013
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 1053–1060, 2013

Research article 22 Apr 2013

Research article | 22 Apr 2013

On the characteristics of ASCAT wind direction ambiguities

W. Lin1, M. Portabella1, A. Stoffelen2, and A. Verhoef2 W. Lin et al.
  • 1Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM) – CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, the Netherlands

Abstract. The inversion of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) backscatter measurement triplets generally leads to two wind ambiguities with similar wind speed values and opposite wind directions. However, for up-, down- and crosswind (with respect to the mid-beam azimuth direction) cases, the inversion often leads to three or four wind solutions. In most of such cases, the inversion residuals or maximum likelihood estimators (MLEs) of the third and fourth solutions (i.e. high-rank solutions) are substantially higher than those of the first two (low-rank) ambiguities. This indicates a low probability for the high-rank solutions and thus essentially dual ambiguity. This paper investigates the characteristics of ASCAT high-rank wind solutions under different conditions with the objective of developing a method for rejecting the spurious high-rank solutions. The implementation of this rejection procedure improves the effectiveness of the ASCAT wind quality control (QC) and ambiguity removal procedures.