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SCP FTP site

The NASA Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (SCP) is a NASA sponsored project to develop scatterometer-based data time series to support climate studies of the Earth's cryosphere and biosphere. Originally developed to measure winds over the ocean from space, scatterometer data has proved to be very useful in a variety of studies including polar ice and tropical vegetation. Because the scatterometer radar signal can penetrate the surface, a scatterometer can observe subsurface/subcanopy climate-related features.

The launch of Seasat, carrying a Ku-band scatterometer (SASS), in 1978 provided a baseline against which studies of global change can be measured. Other missions have followed SASS, including the C-band European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Remote Sensing (ERS) -1 and -2 missions (1992-2001), the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) mission in 1996-97, SeaWinds on QuikSCAT (1999-2000), SeaWinds on ADEOS-II/Midori2 (2003), and the ESA Advanced scatterometer (ASCAT) (2009+). With their rapid global coverage, day or night and all-weather operation, scatterometers offer a unique tool for long-term climate studies. The goal of the SCP is to provide scatterometer-based datasets to researchers involved in climate studies.

The SCP datasets are based on a time series of enhanced resolution images made from the scatterometer backscatter (sigma0) measurements using the Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR) and SIR w/filtering algorithms. For the highest possible spatial resolution (as well as to ensure full coverage over the images) multiple orbit passes are combined. For SASS, NSCAT, ERS, and ASCAT images of sigma0 at 40 deg incidence angle (A) in dB and the slope of sigma0 versus incidence angle (B) in dB/deg are made. For SeaWinds and QuikSCAT sigma0 images at the observation incidence angle are made. In addition to these images, a number of ancillary images and products are generated include sea ice extent maps and sea ice motion data sets. A number of derived products are provided. SCP images and data products are designed to support climate studies over land and ice. Scatterometer data sets are augmented by processed image data from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (TRMM-PR), SSM/I, and AMSR-E microwave radiometers.

Products can be selected from Image Data on the navigation bar to the left. A summary of available products is available here.

Using our data?

Send an email to long@ee.byu.edu letting us know what you're doing. This will help ensure that we have the funding needed to keep operating.

Recent News Updates

11 Nov 2014. Some missing AMSRE images have generated and put on the site.

11 Jul 2014. Full-mission OSCAT Sigma-0 browse (SigBrw) product released.

3 Apr 2013. A simple python interface to read SIR files is available under the software tab.

Feb. 2014. The Oceansat-2 scatterometer (OSCAT) mission ended when the instrument failed. All available OSCAT data has been processed and added to the site.

15 Feb 2013. After a winter power reduction cycle, QuikSCAT began spinning again for about 10 days before the bearing again got stuck! SCP image products for 29 Jan-6 Feb 2013 have been produced and posted to the SCP web/ftp site.

12 Oct 2012. A new multi-year sea ice age map product is now available The method is described in A.M. Swan and D.G. Long, "Multi-Year Arctic Sea Ice Classification Using QuikSCAT", IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 50, No. 9, pp. 3317-3326, 2012.