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Suggested Citation:"XOVWM, Extended Ocean Vector Winds Mission ." National Research Council. 2008. Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11952.
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Page 26

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Earth Science and Applications from Space 26 XOVWM Extended Ocean Vector Winds Mission Launch: 2013–2016 Mission size: Medium Orbit: LEO, SSO Agency: NOAA Estimated cost: $350 million Areas of interest: Climate Instruments : Backscatter radar Benefits : Prediction of changes in nutrient availability for fisheries and coastal ecosystems Improved marine hazard prediction and navigation safety Improved prediction of hurricanes, extratropical storms, coastal winds, and storm surge In the last few years, scatterometer data from the QuikSCAT mission have become invaluable for marine warnings and hurricane forecasts, including the location and intensity of storm centers. But ocean currents and winds near coastlines are not being mapped by either scatterometers or altimeters at present, due to low spatial resolution and contamination of the radar signal by nearby land. In addition, there is currently no plan to replace the aging QuikSCAT. XOVWM will measure wind speed and direction over the ocean surface at a spatial resolution of 5 kilometers or less over an 1,800-kilometer swath, revisiting each location every 18 hours or so. XOVWM will overlap with and supplement the SWOT mission (see page 24), improving our understanding of variability in winds and ocean currents. Data from XOVWM would be com- bined with data from the European Space Agency’s operational scatterometer to futher reduce the average time between wind measurements to 10 hours, approaching the 6-hour goal for weather forecasting. The coastal data from XOVWM will allow for better estimates of upwelling and nutrient supply for fisheries management. Many other coastal activities, from search-and-rescue missions to shipping, will benefit from model improvements made possible by XOVWM. Compared to the existing QuikSCAT mission, which is operating years beyond its expected lifetime, XOVWM will provide improved wind measurements, especially in rainy conditions, as well as higher-spatial-resolution measure- ments, better coverage in coastal regions, and more frequent observations.

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Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade brings the next ten years into focus for the Earth and environmental science community with a prioritized agenda of space programs, missions, and supporting activities that will best serve scientists in the next decade. These missions will address a broad range of societal needs, such as more reliable weather forecasts, early earthquake warnings, and improved pollution management, benefiting both scientific discovery and the health and well-being of society.

Based on the 2007 book, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, this book explores each of the seventeen recommended missions in detail, identifying launch dates, responsible agencies, estimated cost, scientific and public benefits, and more. Printed entirely in color, the book features rich photographs and illustrations, tables, and graphs that will keep the attention of scientists and non-scientists alike.

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