A Special Site for Cal-Val Activities for the Nano-Satellite SAR Based Mission TOPMEX-9.
Ocampo-Torres, Francisco (PACO) J.1; Vicente-Vivas, Esau2; Pacheco, Enrique3

A special site for Cal-Val activities for the nano-satellite SAR based mission TOPMEX-9. Specification of potential applications advancing the Earth Observation Programme of the Mexican Space Agency.
Progress on TOPMEX-9 mission is presented, advancing an important component for the Earth Observation Programme of the Mexican Space Agency. TOPMEX-9 a distributed Micro-SAR concept with a Master and Slaves flight formation is underway. The basic idea is making use of the transmitting component of a SAR on a microsatellite and the receiving component on a nano-satellites cluster, although only a brief illustration is given here. The objective of this work is mainly to present some SAR characteristics and the most important potential applications. Special attention is paid to the capabilities and limitations of SAR systems to properly detect ocean surface waves. In particular, emphasis is given to the development of a Cal-Val location were meteorological and oceanogrpahic instrumentation will be deployed. The Cal-Val Site is being proposed to be the Gulf of Tehuantepec (Southeast of Mexico, in Pacific Ocean waters), and the field campaign plan is presented. Some focus in wind wave growth is proposed as strong and persistent off-shore winds develop and the capabilities of SAR are to be tested. Preliminary analysis of X-band SAR images show the possibilitiy of detecting the relatively short waves being developed and the influence of long swell also present is investigated. Furthermore, since TOPMEX-9 is being planned to operate in K-band, associated wave characteristics and special consideration must be taken into account as to properly simulate the wave imaging mechanism within this SAR concept. This work represents a DOT Project (CONACYT-SRE 186144) contribution.