Bayesian retrieval of scatterometer wind fields

Dan Cornford, Ian T. Nabney, David J. Evans

Research output: Preprint or Working paperTechnical report


The retrieval of wind fields from scatterometer observations has traditionally been separated into two phases; local wind vector retrieval and ambiguity removal. Operationally, a forward model relating wind vector to backscatter is inverted, typically using look up tables, to retrieve up to four local wind vector solutions. A heuristic procedure, using numerical weather prediction forecast wind vectors and, often, some neighbourhood comparison is then used to select the correct solution. In this paper we develop a Bayesian method for wind field retrieval, and show how a direct local inverse model, relating backscatter to wind vector, improves the wind vector retrieval accuracy. We compare these results with the operational U.K. Meteorological Office retrievals, our own CMOD4 retrievals and a neural network based local forward model retrieval. We suggest that the neural network based inverse model, which is extremely fast to use, improves upon current forward models when used in a variational data assimilation scheme.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherAston University
Publication statusUnpublished - 1999


  • retrieval
  • wind fields
  • scatterometer observations
  • local wind vector retrieval
  • ambiguity removal


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