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Coastal and Open Ocean Surface Current Mission Study

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Coastal and Open Ocean Surface Current Mission Study

Ocean Surface Current is one of the most important ocean properties for oceanographers and operators in the maritime domain. Improved monitoring of ocean currents is systematically the number one requirement that emerges from any science or end user requirement surveys. Wavemill is a novel hybrid interferometric SAR system first proposed by ESA/ESTEC [Buck, 2005]. It offers the possibility of generating two-dimensional wide swath, high resolution, high precision maps of surface current vectors and ocean topography [Buck et al., 2009].
Based on a single spacecraft, it avoids the difficulties of synchronisation and baseline estimation associated with other interferometric SAR systems based on two or more satellites (e.g. the "cartwheel" or "helix" concept). The Wavemill concept has developed steadily since its first inception in 2005. A number of Wavemill studies in recent years have gradually put together facts and figures to support the case for Wavemill as a possible space-borne mission.

Executive summary