In the surface layer over the ocean the MoninObukhov similarity theory is often applied to construct vertical profiles of pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speed. In this context, the rough boundary layer is derived from empirical relations where ocean wave characteristics are neglected. For seas where wind speed is less than ~ 10 m s1 there is excellent agreement for both meteorological and microwave propagation theory and measurements. However, recent evidence indicates that even small waves perturb these profiles. It is, therefore, hypothesized that mechanical forcing by sea waves is responsible for modifying scalar profiles in the lowest portion of the surface layer, thereby reducing the effects of evaporation ducting on microwave signal propagation. This hypothesis, that a rough sea surface modifies the evaporation duct, was the primary motivation for the Rough Evaporation Duct (RED) experiment.RED was conducted off of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu from late August to mid-September 2001. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Research Platform Floating Instrument Platform, moored about 10 km off the northeast coast of Oahu, hosted the primary meteorological sensor suites and the transmitters for both the microwave and the infrared propagation links. Two land sites were instrumentedone with microwave receivers and the other with an infrared receivertwo buoys were deployed, a small boat was instrumented, and two aircraft flew various tracks to sense both sea and atmospheric conditions.Through meteorological and propagation measurements, RED achieved a number of its objectives. First, although we did not experience the desired conditions of simultaneous high seas, high winds, and large surface gradients of temperature and humidity necessary to significantly affect the evaporation duct, observations verify that waves do modify the scalars within the airsea surface layer. Second, an intriguing and controversial result is the lack of agreement of the scalar profile constants with those typically observed over land. Finally, as expected for the conditions encountered during RED (trade wind, moderate seas, unstable), we show that the MoninObukhov similarity theory, combined with high-quality meteorological measurements, can be used by propagation models to accurately predict microwave signal levels.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 20, 2004
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