For pt.II see ibid., vol.28, no.3, p.361-373 (1990). A parametric model for near-surface mesoscale wind fields suitable for use in a model-based approach to estimate the wind field over a large region of the scatterometer measurement swath from measurements of the radar backscatter of the ocean's surface is discussed. The assumptions made in developing the model are described, and the accuracy of the resulting model is evaluated. The model is based only on scatterometer data and is computationally tractable, consisting of a linear equation relating the near-surface wind field to a vector of model parameters which is estimated from the scatterometer measurements. Tradeoffs in the accuracy of the model and the number of unknown parameters are considered.
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