Ocean Surface Vector Wind

The Ocean Surface Vector Wind Virtual Constellation (OSVW-VC) fosters the availability of best quality ocean surface vector wind data for applications in short, medium, and decadal time scales in the most efficient manner through international collaboration, scientific innovation, and rigor. Strategic objectives to address this aim are:

  • Improve coordination, consolidation, and development of the collective OSVW capability
  • Achieve a more active engagement by nations operating or preparing satellite ocean surface vector winds sensors with the international wind vector community
  • Maintain a strong and mutually supportive relationship with the International Ocean Vector Winds Science Team (IOVWST)
  • Provide an interface to CEOS for the IOVWST
  • Develop recommendations on the driving requirements to create, validate, and sustain the development of an international ensemble of Essential Climate Variable (ECV) measurements
  • Provide advice on and advocate to the international community for the importance of OSVW measurements
  • Develop and consolidate training on the use of scatterometer winds for different applications,as well as outreach to the general public to demonstrate the societal benefit of these data

The current status of the OSVW-VC and medium term activities and plans are laid out in the OSVW-VC Terms of Reference.

The OSVW-VC serves as the formal link between the CEOS community and the IOVWST. The IOVWST has worked for many years on making available the best quality scatterometer wind data, based on state of the art scientific and calibration/validation developments. The OSVW-VC showcases those developments and their applications to the CEOS community, which helps supporting the IOVWST, particularly with regard to calibration/validation and outreach efforts.

The OSVW-VC is also active in other international fora, such as the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites CGMS, where it also advocates for a sustainable operational scatterometer winds capability. Additionally, the OSVW-VC has presented its mission objectives and achievements to the International Winds Working Group IWWG .


Figure: Overview of scatterometer missions over time (years), organised w.r.t scatterometer frequency (above) and descending descending Equator crossing time (between 1 and 13 h) (below).

One of the main achievements of the OSVW-VC in the past few years is that of establishing a sustained training capability on the use of wind and wave data from scatterometer and altimeters in operational marine forecasting. The years to come present new challenges, namely to expand the training capability to other important areas, to ensure the continued open access to timely scatterometer winds from the planned new missions, as well as to support the availability of consistent scatterometer climate records.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact the OSVW Co-Chairs for more information:

  • Paul Chang (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA)
  • Rashmi Sharma (Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO)


Last update: 23.12.2014