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Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT)

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Status: Completed
Mission Category: Earth Observing System (EOS)
Launch Date: June 19, 1999
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
Designed Life: June 19, 2002
Actual Completion Date: November 23, 2009

The Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) acquired accurate, high-resolution, continuous, all-weather measurements of global (land, ice, and ocean) radar cross-sections and near-surface vector winds over the ice-free global oceans. The wind measurements are used for research investigations as well as in operational weather prediction. Radar cross-sections from land and ice-covered regions are used for vegetation classification/monitoring, cryospheric investigations, and operational ice-edge and iceberg detection and monitoring.

Antenna ceased rotating in November 2009: still providing useful data through cross-calibration with other satellites.

Key Quick Scatterometer Facts

Altitude:Distance from sea level. 803km
Inclination: 98.6°
Local Node:Approximate time, at the equator when vehicle is directly overhead. 10:15 a.m.
Instruments: SeaWinds (Microwave Radar Instrument)
Project Scientist(s): Ernesto Rodriguez

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Weather

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How is the global Earth system changing?

Related Applications:

  • Air Quality
  • Coastal Management
  • Disaster Management