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Frequently Asked Questions

What does SFMR stand for?

The NOAA/Hurricane Research Division's Stepped-Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) is the prototype for a new generation of airborne remote sensing instruments designed for operational surface wind estimation in hurricanes. The SFMR has a downward pointing antenna which passively reads the microwave radiation coming from the ocean surface.

What SFMR data is included in the data files?

The processed surface winds and rain rate from the SFMR are included in the data files for each mission, as well as the raw temperature outputs for each frequency. Similarly, SFMR data from NOAA flights is included in the NetCDF version of each flight's data.

What are small area fMRS and how are they used?

Small Area FMRs are required to be used to set Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher payment standards in areas designated by HUD (available here). Other Housing Agencies operating in non-designated metropolitan areas may opt-in to the use of Small Area FMRs.

How does the SFMR measure wind speed and rain rate?

Calibrated values of brightness temperature generated by SFMR are reported in real time to a windspeed retrieval algorithm, developed in cooperation with NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division. This algorithm generates a real time measure of surface level wind speed and rain rate in hurricanes and tropical storms.

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