QuikSCAT mission is intended to record sea-surface wind speed and direction data under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans. QuikSCAT was initiated as a "quick recovery" mission to help reduce the ocean-wind vector data gap created by the loss of the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) on the Japanese Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS), which ceased functioning when ADEOS failed on June 30, 1997. QuikSCT launched in June 19, 1999, QuikSCAT was designed to be a “quick recovery” EOS satellite mission to fill the gap of global ocean surface wind vector observations.
The SeaWinds scatterometer on QuikSCAT began producing science quality data on July 19, 1999. Since QuikSCAT’s launch, the SeaWinds instrument has continued to provide the same high quality data covering more than 90% of the ice-free oceans every day for more than 10 years. QuikSCAT operates in a near polar orbit. It flies in a circular orbit at an altitude of approximately 800 km (500 miles) above Earth's surface. It completes a full orbit in about 101 minutes, which translates to a little more than 14 orbits per day. QuikSCAT has a repeat period of approximately 4 days/57 orbits and the local equator crossing time at the ascending node is 6 hours +/- 30 minutes. The orbit period is approximately 101 minutes. QuikSCAT flies at a mean altitude of approximately 802.4 km and has an orbit inclination of 98.616°. The operational mission duration was intended for up to 3 years. SeaWinds – A Ku-band (13.4 GHz) Scatterometer featuring a circular dish antenna, which provides pencil-beam radar backscatter measurements. It’s primary purpose is to provide all-weather ocean surface wind vector measurements over the ice-free global oceans.