The Use of Altimeter Data

Competency Framework

Jose Candido from WavEC talks in his presentation about the use of satellite derived altimetry data for wave energy applications.


Altimeter estimates of the significant wave height Hs are quite accurate. The assessment of the wave energy resource in deep water locations requires not only the knowledge of Hs but also of the wave period, in particular the energy period Te. Several models have been proposed in order to derive the mean zero-crossing period from the altimeter backscatter coefficient with reasonable accuracy. The attempts to establish a relation between Tz and Te revealed significant constraints. As a consequence, the exclusive use of altimeter data may be suitable only for preliminary wave energy resource assessment purposes. Additionally, given their wide geographic availability, altimeter Hs estimates are typically applied in the validation of wave model data used in wave energy resource assessment studies.

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