With the successful mission of ERS-1 and the planned launch of ERS2 and ENVISAT, Europe has an unique opportunity to use satellite data for operational monitoring of the marine environment. The objective of the present concerted action is to federate actions and to bring together scientists to further improve space technique measurements and operational use of the two-dimensional surface wave spectrum into numerical wave forecast models. Such a goal have been identified for a long time as a pressing need for navigation and maritime industry as well as for advancing in our knowledge of the ocean-atmosphere interface and the quantification of the overall influence of waves on the climate system.
Within such a framework, the main tasks and specific objectives of this concerted action are as follows:
- to improve our quantitative knowledge of imaging mechanism of ocean waves for application to ocean-instrument spectral inversion (that is, in deriving directional properties of the ocean wave field from a spaceborne instrument i.e Synthetic Aperture Radar and/or Real Aperture Radar with a rotating antenna); - to improve our quantitative knowledge by means of numerical and experimental studies of the interaction between electromagnetic waves and the ocean surface; - to coordinate and to define field experiments to prepare future satellite missions;
- to develop a strategy to better analyse and to assimilate satellite data into numerical wave models.
This concerted action is introduced as a main tool for the preparation of a shared action to be submitted later.