Launched in June 19, 1999, QuikSCAT was designed to be a “quick recovery” EOS satellite mission to fill the gap of global ocean surface wind vector observations which resulted from the unexpected failure of NSCAT in June of 1997. The SeaWinds scatterometer on QuikSCAT began producing science quality data on July 19, 1999. Since QuikSCAT’s launch, the SeaWinds instrument has continued to provide the same high quality data covering more than 90% of the ice-free oceans every day for more than 10 years.
QuikSCAT has a repeat period of approximately 4 days/57 orbits and the local equator crossing time at the ascending node is 6 hours +/- 30 minutes. The orbit period is approximately 101 minutes. QuikSCAT flies at a mean altitude of approximately 802.4 km and has an orbit inclination of 98.616°. The operational mission duration was intended for up to 3 years.