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Lucas Watson
Lucas Watson

Firsts By C.L. Matthews

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Firsts by C.L. Matthews

Wind speeds of approximately between 3 an 12 m/sec provide the roughness elements required for the observation of most ocean features in SAR and optical sensor generating capillary and small surface gravity waves (of the order of centimeter). Thus SAR and sun glint image represent, to a firsts approximation, sea surface roughness conditions given by the spatial distribution of this type of waves. The distinct signatures produced by the modulation of capillary and short surface gravity waves by ocean circulation are most evident under these limits. At much lower speeds, the wave effects decrease producing a smoother sea surface that reflects energy away from the sensors and resulting in dark areas in the imagery. At higher wind speed, the affected area is characterized by significant background clutter that diminishes the contrast of ocean signatures imaged. SAR image is generally brighter in the near range and darker in the far range, due to the fact that the surface backscatter decreases rapidly with increasing radar incident angle. As a consequence, success in detecting ocean features, in particular the ones that generates low backscatter, may well depend on where the feature lie within the scene swath. The wider the swath, the greater is the contrast between the near and far ranges. This is not critic for ERS SAR images with approximately 100 km of swath width but of special significance for Radarsat wide swath imagery, which can have a range with of up 500 km. In the case of sun glint detection with TM, a similar situation occurs. At the time of the satellite passage (10,30 AM), the sun is located at right side of the observed area and the maximum intensity is detected at the right border, decreasing strongly to the left. In this way, in general, ocean processes can be clearly observed, only on the right side of the image.

Frank Batteas is a research test pilot in the Flight Crew Branch of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. He is currently a project pilot for the F/A-18 and C-17 flight research projects. In addition, his flying duties include operation of the DC-8 Flying Laboratory in the Airborne Science program, and piloting the B-52B launch aircraft, the King Air, and the T-34C support aircraft. Batteas has accumulated more than 4,700 hours of military and civilian flight experience in more than 40 different aircraft types. Batteas came to NASA Dryden in April 1998, following a career in the U.S. Air Force. His last assignment was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, where Lieutenant Colonel Batteas led the B-2 Systems Test and Evaluation efforts for a two-year period. Batteas graduated from Class 88A of the Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California, in December 1988. He served more than five years as a test pilot for the Air Force's newest airlifter, the C-17, involved in nearly every phase of testing from flutter and high angle-of-attack tests to airdrop and air refueling envelope expansion. In the process, he achieved several C-17 firsts including the first day and night aerial refuelings, the first flight over the North Pole, and a payload-to-altitude world aviation record. As a KC-135 test pilot, he also was involved in aerial refueling certification tests on a number of other Air Force aircraft. Batteas received his commission as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps and served initially as an engineer working on the Peacekeeper and Minuteman missile programs at the Ballistic Missile Office, Norton Air Force Base, Calif. After attending pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Phoenix, Ariz., he flew operational flights in the KC-135 tanker aircraft and then was assigned to research flying at the 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson. He flew extensively modified C-135 041b061a72


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