SeaWinds is a spaceborne wind scatterometer to be flown on the second Japanese Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS-II) in 1999. An important international element of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS), SeaWinds is an advanced follow-on to the NASA scatterometer (NSCAT) on the first ADEOS platform. Unlike previous operational spaceborne scatterometer systems. SeaWinds employs a scanning "pencil-beam" antenna rather than a "fan-beam" antenna, making the instrument more compact and yielding greater ocean coverage. The goals of this paper are twofold. First, the overall SeaWinds functional design and backscatter measurement approach are described, and the relative advantages of the pencil-beam technique are outlined. Second, the unique aspects of measurement accuracy optimization and signal processing for the SeaWinds instrument are discussed. Applying the results of a separate companion paper, ibid., 1997, a technique to significantly improve measurement accuracy by modulating the transmit pulse is described. Trade-offs to optimize the transmit modulation bandwidth are presented.
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