Winds and Currents Mission
WACM science objectives are to observationally demonstrate that the (1) near-surface currents due to momentum exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere are substantially different from those inferred from existing, indirect observational techniques, and (2) that these differences have important implications for vertical and horizontal transports of upper-ocean heat. Data-based analyses and observationally constrained ocean models will demonstrate these transports. Another science goal is to compute the kinetic energy flux into the upper ocean, and to demonstrate that it is substantially different than found in current state of the art model estimates. These objectives require contemporaneous collocated observations of surface winds (or stress) and surface currents. Unique aspects of this mission include observation of the actual surface current, and much finer resolution needed for these calculations. Applications include weather forecasting, search and rescue, ocean spills, and mapping of Himalayan ice and snow extent.
by Sir Timid November 25, 2015