BackForwardInstrument:  HSCAT 

Instrument details
Acronym HSCAT
Full name HY Scatterometer
Purpose Sea surface wind vector
Short description Ku-band (13.25 GHz)
Background New development
Scanning Technique Conical scanning, two beams, to provide four views of each spot from different angles; swath 1300 km
Resolution Best quality: 50 km; standard quality: 25 km
Coverage / Cycle Near-global every day for SSO orbit; less for drifting orbits.
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NSOAS
Instrument Maturity Backed by strong heritage
Utilization Period: 2011 to 2026
Last update: 2023-02-08
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Active and radio-occultation sensor
  • Scatterometer
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 1
  • Scatterometers [in SSO]
  • Scatterometer [in SSO]
  • Scatterometer [in inclined orbits]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Wind speed (near surface)
  • Wind vector (near surface)
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Leaf Area Index (LAI)4 - fairCoarse spatial resolution.Ku-band scatterometer sensitive to LAI
Sea-ice type1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Scatterometer, Ku-band (around 13.3 GHz). Type interpreted as age/roughness
Snow cover3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Thick snow only.Scatterometer in Ku-band (around 13.3 GHz)
Snow status (wet/dry)3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Thick snow only.Scatterometer in Ku-band (around 13.3 GHz)
Snow water equivalent5 - marginalCoarse spatial resolution.. Ground stations network needed.Scatterometer in Ku-band (around 13.3 GHz)
Soil moisture at surface3 - highCoarse spatial resolution.. Strongly affected by vegetation.Scatterometer in Ku-band (around 13.3 GHz)
Wind speed (near surface)*1 - primaryOver sea only.Ku-band scatterometer around 13.3 GHz
Wind vector (near surface)*2 - very highOver sea only.Ku-band scatterometer around 13.3 GHz