The mission of Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) is scheduled to be launched in 2022, and global ocean eddies with radius scales of larger than 10 km are expected to be observed from space. However, there are still open questions about the capability of SWOT to detect ocean eddies. Based on ocean model data and SWOT orbit, this study simulates along-track observation of SWOT. Two eddy datasets are derived from simulated observation data via mapping and eddy identification procedures, one of which includes SWOT errors and the other does not. The third eddy dataset is generated from the original model data. Through comparing these three eddy datasets, it is found that 34% (40%) eddies are lost due to insufficient temporal sampling and errors in the Kuroshio Extension (South China Sea) region, and numerous artifact eddies are generated. To further explain the influence of SWOT errors on smaller-scale eddies, two eddies (a cyclonic eddy and an anticyclonic eddy) with the radius of about 10 km are repeatedly observed 100 times using the SWOT-simulator. The cyclonic eddy with larger amplitude has been detected 84 times, while the anticyclonic eddy is visible 76 times. Therefore, the influence of the SWOT sampling and errors on ocean eddy observation is revealed by the results of these observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs).
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