The NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) was launched aboard the Japanese satellite Midori, also known as the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS), on August 16, 1996. The NSCAT mission was a partnership between the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan, NASA, and JPL. Since the short-lived success of the Seasat scatterometer in 1978, the research and development of the NSCAT instrument resulted in a much anticipated expectation to provide the first long-term data record of global high resolution ocean surface wind vector measurements. The unfortunate premature power failure of the ADEOS spacecraft resulted in a termination of the NSCAT mission on June 30, 1997. While in operation, NSCAT provided approximately 70% global ice-free ocean coverage every day with a measurement footprint of 25 km. Nearly 10 months of continuous global ocean surface wind vector data was provided by NSCAT, representing an unprecedented achievement by NASA.
- NSCAT – A Ku-band (13.995 GHz) dual fan-beam scatterometer. Its primary purpose is to provide all-weather ocean surface wind vector measurements over the ice-free global oceans.
- Dual fanbeam swath – twin swaths, each with a 600 km width, separated by a 400 km nadir gap.
- Dual fanbeams – 3 on each side (6 total) with dual-polarized mid-beam and vertically polarized outer beams.
- Altitude above Equator - 796.75 km
- Local Time at Ascending Node - 10:15 to 10:45 PM
- Altitude above Equator – 796.75 km
- Orbit Period - 100.92 minutes
- Orbit Inclination - 98.59°
- Repeat Period – 41 days