Skip to main content


Front. Remote Sens.
Sec. Microwave Remote Sensing
Volume 5 - 2024 | doi: 10.3389/frsen.2024.1399839

Sea surface barometry with O2 differential absorption radar: retrieval algorithm development and simulation

Provisionally accepted
Bing Lin Bing Lin 1*Matthew W. Mclinden Matthew W. Mclinden 2Xia Cai Xia Cai 1Gerald Heymsfield Gerald Heymsfield 2Nikki Privé Nikki Privé 3Steven Harrah Steven Harrah 1Lihua Li Lihua Li 2
  • 1 Langley Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, United States
  • 2 Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, Maryland, United States
  • 3 Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

    Sea surface air pressure observations are a significant gap in current Earth observing systems. This study addresses the retrieval algorithm development and evaluation of potential impacts of instrumental and environmental uncertainties on sea level pressure retrievals for the measurements of O2 differential absorption radar systems operating at three spectrally even spaced close frequency bands (65.5, 67.75 and 70.0 GHz). A simulated northern hemispheric summer case is used to simulate retrieval uncertainties. To avoid high attenuation and low signal-to-noise ratio, radar measurements from weather conditions with rain rate  1 mm/hr are not used in the retrieval. This study finds that the retrieval algorithm combining all three channels, i.e., the 3-channel approach, can effectively mitigate major atmospheric and sea surface influences on sea surface air pressure retrieval.The major uncertainty for sea surface pressure retrieval is caused by the standard deviation in radar power returns. Analysis and simulation demonstrate the potential of global sea surface pressure observations with errors about 1 ~ 2 mb, which is urgently needed for improvement of numerical weather prediction models. Future work will emphasize on the instrument development and field experiments. It is anticipated that in few years, an O2 differential absorption radar system will be available for meteorological applications.

    Keywords: O2 differential absorption radar, sea surface air pressure retrieval, Environmental impact, uncertainty in pressure retrieval, Retrieval simulation

    Received: 12 Mar 2024; Accepted: 07 Jun 2024.

    Copyright: © 2024 Lin, Mclinden, Cai, Heymsfield, Privé, Harrah and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

    * Correspondence: Bing Lin, Langley Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, United States

    Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.