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Using Satellite Spectral Wave Data for Wave Energy Resource Characterization

Date: October 08, 2013 at 21:55 GMT

Abstract: The German satellite Terra SAR-X (TSX) provides high resolution images, which can image ocean waves with an accuracy superior to former SAR satellites down to wave lengths of around 20 meters. This is useful for the retrieval of two dimensional wave spectra in highly variable sea states, especially in complex coastal areas or near islands.

Using the three different SAR scanning modes it is possible to image the same location every 2 days. An inter-comparison between sea state parameters and spectral distributions retrieved from TSX, buoy and wind-wave models is presented for the Azores Archipelago in the area where the first wave energy power plant to be grid connected was built and continues in operation.

A verification of the spectral parameters significant wave height, peak period, energy (mean) period and wave power in addition to wave spectral shape obtained from TSX SAR against buoy data and wind-wave Mar3G model analysis is included, which shows the good accuracy of these remote sensed data.

In addition, the strong spatial variability of wave conditions in complex coastal areas (in the channel between São Jorge and Pico islands) is highlighted through the comparison of a series of (partially overlapping) TSX SAR Spotlight image spectra. 


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