Liu, Y.; Ji, L.; Zou, S.; Wu, Y., and Zhang, Y., 2020. Onboard fast retrieving of significant wave height from leading edge of altimeter waveforms. In: Zheng, C.W.; Wang, Q.; Zhan, C., and Yang, S.B. (eds.), Air-Sea Interaction and Coastal Environments of the Maritime and Polar Silk Roads. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 99, pp. 236–241. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Satellite radar altimetry provides a unique perspective on ocean dynamic environment observation by measuring global sea surface height (SSH), significant wave height (SWH) and wind speed. As an important sea surface parameter, SWH is of significance in marine disaster prevention and mitigation, climate change studies, ocean energy survey, etc., and can be estimated by using an altimetry waveform retracking algorithm through satellite ground system. Given that ground processing could not respond to the disastrous ocean waves rapidly, it is inevitable to develop an onboard fast retrieval model to meet emergency demands. In this study, we proposed a linear model based on making use of leading edges of waveforms. The results show that root mean squared errors (RMSE) are from 0.165 m to 0.187 m between linear model and maximum likelihood retracker. Additionally, the time efficiency of the linear model is approximate 6000 times as fast as the on-ground maximum likelihood estimation procedure. Due to high accuracy, robustness and efficiency, the linear model provides a promising and practical solution for onboard quasi real-time wave height estimation.