The backscattering coefficients measured by Ku-band scatterometers are strongly affected by rainfall, resulting in a systematic error in sea surface wind field retrieval. In rainy conditions, the radar signals are subject to absorption by the raindrops in their round-trip propagation through the atmosphere, while the backscatter of raindrops raises the echo energy. In addition, raindrops give rise to roughness by impinging the ocean surface, resulting in an increase in the echo energy measured by a scatterometer. Under moderate wind conditions, the comprehensive impact of rainfall causes the wind speeds retrieved by the scatterometer to be higher than their actual values. The HY-2A scatterometer is a Ku-band, pencil-beam, conically scanning scatterometer. To correct the systematic error of the HY-2A scatterometer measurement in rainy conditions, a neural network model is proposed according to the characteristics of the backscatter coefficients measured by the HY-2A scatterometer in the presence of rain. With the neural network, the wind fields of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data were used as the reference to correct the deviation in backscatter coefficients measured by the HY-2A scatterometer in rainy conditions, and the accuracy in wind speeds retrieved using the corrected backscatter coefficients was significantly improved. Compared with the cases of wind retrieval without rain effect correction, the wind speeds retrieved from the corrected backscatter coefficients by the neural network show a much lower systematic deviation, which indicates that the neural network can effectively remove the systematic deviation in the backscatter coefficients and the retrieved wind speeds caused by rain.
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