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Winds - Measuring ocean winds from space
MISSIONS
Missions Overview

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RapidScat on ISS (International Space Station)

Brief Overview:

The RapidScat instrument replaced NASA's QuikScat Earth satellite. The instrument is currently on board the International Space Station and measures Earth's ocean surface wind speed and direction.

The primary goal of the ISS-RapidScat mission is to demonstrate the agile reuse of flight-worthy hardware and demonstration of the capability to deploy and host a science class instrument.


Quick Facts:

  • Type: Instrument
  • Launch Date: September 20, 2014
  • Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
  • Target: Earth
  • Status: Current

Read More About RapidScat.


SeaWinds on ADEOS II

A view of a satellite.
Brief Overview:

A successor to NSCAT, the SeaWinds scatterometer was a specialized microwave radar that measured near-surface wind velocity (both speed and direction) under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans.





Quick Facts:

  • Type: Instrument
  • Launch Date: December 14, 2002
  • Launch Location: Japan's Tanegashima Space Center
  • Target: Earth
  • Status: Past (Mission ended on October 24, 2003 due to a solar panel failure.)

Read More About SeaWinds.


SeaWinds on QuickSCAT

A view of a satellite.
Brief Overview:

The SeaWinds instrument on the QuikSCAT satellite was a specialized microwave radar that measured near-surface wind speed and direction under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans.

The SeaWinds on QuikSCAT mission was a "quick recovery" mission to fill the gap created by the loss of data from the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) in 1997.


Quick Facts:

  • Type: Instrument
  • Launch Date: June 19, 1999
  • Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
  • Target: Earth
  • Status: Past (Mission ended on November 23, 2009 due to an age-related mechanical failure.)

Read More About QuickSCAT.


NSCAT on ADEOS (Advanced Earth Observing Satellite)

A view of a satellite.
Brief Overview:

While in operation, NSCAT provided approximately 70% global ice-free ocean coverage every day with a measurement footprint of 25 km. Nearly 10 months of continuous global ocean surface wind vector data was provided by NSCAT, representing an unprecedented achievement by NASA.




Quick Facts:

  • Type: Instrument
  • Launch Date: August 16, 1996
  • Launch Location: Japan's Tanegashima Space Center
  • Target: Earth
  • Status: Past (Mission ended on June 30, 1997 due to a solar panel failure.)

Read More About NSCAT.



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