Glossary: S

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  1. A nominal frequency range from 4 to 2 GHz (7 to 20 cm wavelength) within the microwave (radar) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. S-band radars are used for medium-range meteorological applications, for example rainfall measurements, as well...
  2. The degree of salt in water. The rise in sea level due to global warming would result in increased salinity of rivers, bays and aquifers. This would affect drinking water, agriculture and wildlife. Source: NASA (
  3. The process of obtaining a sequence of discrete digital values from a continuous sequence of analog data. Source: NASA (
  4. SAR
    Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR): A high-resolution ground-mapping technique that effectively synthesizes a large receiving antenna by processing the phase of the reflected radar return. The along-track resolution is obtained by timing the radar...
  5. A free-flying object that orbits the Earth, another planet, or the sun. Source: NASA (
  6. In telecommunications, the use of artificial satellites to provide communication links between various points on Earth.(source: Encyclopedia Britannica) Satellite communications play a vital role in the global telecommunications system....
  7. The time from one perigee (the point of an elliptical orbit path where a satellite is closest to Earth) to the next. Source: NASA (
  8. An imaging system consisting of lenses, moving mirrors, and solid-state image sensors used to obtain observations of the Earth and its atmosphere. Scanning radiometers, which are the sole imaging systems on all current operational weather satellites...
  9. The process by which electromagnetic radiation interacts with and is redirected by the molecules of the atmosphere, ocean, or land surface. The term is frequently applied to the interaction of the atmosphere on sunlight, which causes the sky to...
  10. A high-frequency radar instrument that transmits pulses of energy towards the ocean and measures the backscatter from the ocean surface. It detects wind speed and direction over the oceans by analyzing the backscatter from the small wind-induced...
  11. Object space illuminated by a sensor. Source: NASA (
  12. The height of sea ice from the keel (the lowest point underwater) to the ridge (the highest point above water). Source: NASA (
  13. The datum against which land elevation and sea depth are measured. Mean sea level is the average of high and low tides. Source: NASA (
  14. The temperature of the layer of seawater (approximately 0.5 m deep) nearest the atmosphere. Source: NASA (
  15. The excess radiative energy that has passed from the Earth's surface to the atmosphere through advection, conduction, and convection processes. Source: NASA (


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