Wave energy resource assessment with AltiKa satellite altimetry: A case study at a wave energy site

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A simple model to estimate wave power at a coastal site from satellite radar altimetry is proposed. We used data from the AltiKa altimeter on board the SARAL satellite because of its superior performance near the coast. The deep water approximation was applied to our 60 m deep site along with a simple empirical model to estimate wave period, T, from altimeter significant wave height, Hs, and backscattering coefficient, σ0. A known relation between zero-crossing period, Tz, and wave energy period, TE, was used in combination with Hs to calculate wave power per meter wave crest (P). The annual and seasonal mean values of P using AltiKa parameters largely agreed with known ranges of P at the site. A comparison with shallower sites and sites closer to the coast revealed that for estimation of Tz from AltiKa the water depth could be taken into account and an empirical relation is given.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5452–5459
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
Early online date25 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2015


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