High-resolution wind fields from synthetic aperture radars and numerical models for offshore wind farming


All European countries with shallow coastal waters and strong mean wind speed at the coast have begun planning and construction of offshore wind farms, and large parts of the North Sea and the Baltic are under investigation as to whether they are suitable for offshore parks. This paper demonstrates how satellite images taken by spaceborne radar sensors can be used to determine mesoscale wind fields and thus help in the task of planning offshore wind farms. High resolution SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) images acquired by the European remote sensing satellite ERS-2 are presented which show single wind turbines. The derivation of high resolution wind fields from SAR images is explained and comparisons with numerical models are presented.
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