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Air-Sea Interaction under Stormy and Hurricane Conditions: Physical Models and Applications to Remote Sensing (ASIST)
Start date: Feb 1, 2014, End date: Jan 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Storms and hurricanes are a major natural hazard at international scales and significant risk to populations and offshore industry. Growing coastal populations and increased maritime activity make it of rising importance to understand the physical processes of small-scale air-sea interaction under very strong winds. These processes strongly affect the quality of strong storm forecasting. Crucially the existing methods of satellite remote sensing of wind over the sea surface cease to work in very strong winds. ASIST lays the basis for advances in modelling of air/sea interaction under stormy and hurricane conditions. ASIST unites 4 research teams (Keele University (UK), Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (France), Heidelberg University (Germany) and the Institute for Applied Physics (Russia) to: strengthen existing research partnerships through staff exchange, networking and training activities, and address the key scientific issues related to development of novel and practical satellite based microwave technologies capable of monitoring very strong winds over sea. ASIST combines the unique wind-wave facilities at partners in the laboratory modelling of air-sea interactions. The wind-wave facility at the Institute for Applied Physics is the only one able to model hurricane strength winds and complements facilities in Marseille and Heidelberg. This 48 month programme involves a multi-disciplinary team in an integrated programme of experimental effort, supported by joint theoretical and modelling work. The specific outcomes include finding wind dependence of microwave cross-polarization cross-section for very high winds, identifying and quantifying the main physical mechanisms of heat and gas exchange between the atmosphere and oceans. Results will allow for significant advances in the accuracy of meteo- and climate modelling. ASIST will maximise benefits for early stage researchers (70% of the exchange) by heavy involvement in research and knowledge exchange

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