Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 80–92 | Cite as

Evaluation of Wind Retrieval from Co-Polarization Gaofen-3 SAR Imagery Around China Seas

  • Weizeng Shao
  • Shuai Zhu
  • Jian SunEmail author
  • Xinzhe Yuan
  • Yexin Sheng
  • Qingjun Zhang
  • Qiyan Ji


Gaofen-3 (GF-3) is the first Chinese space-borne satellite to carry the C-band multi-polarization synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Marine applications, i.e., winds and waves retrieved from GF-3 SAR images, have been operational since January 2017. In this study, we have collected more than 1000 quad-polarization (vertical-vertical (VV); horizontal-horizontal (HH); vertical- horizontal (VH); horizontal-vertical (HV)) GF-3 SAR images, which were acquired around the China Seas from September 2016 to September 2017. Wind streaks were visible in these images in co-polarization (VV and HH) channel. Geophysical model functions (GMFs), including the CMOD5N together with polarization ratio (PR) model and C-SARMOD, were used to retrieve winds from the collected co-polarization GF-3 SAR images. Wind directions were directly obtained from GF-3 SAR images. Then, the SAR-derived wind speeds were compared with the measurements at a 0.25° grid from the Advanced Scatterometer on board the Metop-A/B and microwave radiometer WindSAT. Based on the analysis, empirical corrections are proposed to improve the performance of the two GMFs. Results of this study show that the standard deviation of wind speed is 1.63 m s−1 with a 0.19 m s−1 bias and 1.71 m s−1 with a 0.26 m s−1 bias for VV- and HH-polarization GF-3 SAR, respectively. Our work not only systematically evaluates wind retrieval by using the two advanced GMFs and PR models but also proposes empirical corrections to improve the accuracy of wind retrievals from GF-3 SAR images around the China Seas and thus enhance the accuracy of near real-time operational SAR-derived wind products.

Key words

Gaofen-3 synthetic aperture radar wind China Seas 


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GF-3 SAR images are accessed via as authorized account issued by NSOAS. WindSATwinds at a 0.25° grid are kindly provided by the Remote Sensing System (RSS) team, which authorizes an account issued for downloading the data via the sever: ftp.remss. com. ASCAT winds at a 0.25° grid are downloaded online via through an authorized account. The research is partly supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Nos. 2016YFC1401605, 2016YFC1401905, and 2017YFA0604 901), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41806005 and 41806004), and the National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 15ZDB170).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weizeng Shao
    • 1
  • Shuai Zhu
    • 1
  • Jian Sun
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xinzhe Yuan
    • 3
  • Yexin Sheng
    • 1
  • Qingjun Zhang
    • 4
  • Qiyan Ji
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science and Technology CollegeZhejiang Ocean UniversityZhoushanChina
  2. 2.Physical Oceanography Laboratory/CIMSTOcean University of China and Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.National Satellite Ocean Application ServiceState Oceanic AdministrationBeijingChina
  4. 4.Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System EngineeringBeijingChina

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