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A comparison of in situ and airborne radar observations of ocean wave directionalityThe directional spectrum of a fully arisen, about 3 m sea as measured by an experimental airborne radar, the NASA K(u)-band radar ocean wave spectrometer (ROWS), is compared to reference pitch-roll buoy data and to the classical SWOP (stereo wave observations project) spectrum for fully developed conditions. The ROWS spectrum, inferred indirectly from backscattered power measurements at 5-km altitude, is shown to be in excellent agreement with the buoy spectrum. Specifically, excellent agreement is found between the two nondirectional height spectra, and mean wave directions and directional spreads as functions of frequency. A comparison of the ROWS and SWOP spectra shows the two spectra to be very similar, in detailed shape as well as in terms of the gross spreading characteristics. Both spectra are seen to exhibit bimodal structures which accord with the Phillips' (1958) resonance mechanism. This observation is thus seen to support Phillips' contention that the SWOP modes were indeed resonance modes, not statistical artifacts.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Jackson, F. C.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Walton, W. T.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt; Maryland, University, College Park, MD, United States)
Peng, C. Y.
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Seabrook, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
January 20, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 90
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Accession Number
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