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NORCSEX'88 -- A Pre-Launch ERS-1 Experiment.


NORCSEX'88 GROUP
EOS Trans., Vol.70, No.49, pp. 1528-1538, 1989.
Abstract - - The first European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Resource Satellite (ERS-1) [which was later called European Remote Sensing satellit] will be launched into polar orbit in winter of 1991, almost 13 years after the launch of the U.S. ocean radar satellite Seasat in July 1978. ERS-1 will be equipped with the same active microwave sensor package as Seasat, including a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a scatterometer, and a radar altimeter.

To demonstrate the potential of these active microwave sensors for mapping near-surface wind, ocean waves and current and their interaction, the ERS-1 NORwegian Continental Shelf EXperiment (NORCSEX) was carried out in March 1988. NORCSEX was centered at 64°N, off the west coast of Norway. An experiment to detect ship wakes using ship-based and airborne SAR was carried out simultaneously. In this and many other coastal regions subject to extensive cloud cover and to a weakening in the surface temperature gradient across ocean fronts during seasonal warming, satellite infrared radiometers are of limited use. The instruments on ERS-1 will provide the first regular observations of these marine variables.


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