Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has been demonstrated invaluable in observing the global ocean winds and waves. SAR images acquired by multiple sensors are employed, including Sentinel-1 (S-1), Envisat/ASAR, Gaofen-3 and Radarsat-2. This thesis reviews the commonly used SAR parameters (NRCS and azimuth cutoff) in the first part. A series of calibration steps are required to obtain a proper NRCS and assessment of NRCS is carried out for S-1 wave mode (WV). It turns out that WV is poorly calibrated and is thus re-calibrated to obtain accurate NRCS. Azimuth cutoff is demonstrated to be complementary to NRCS and can account for the sea state impact on the wind retrieval. Based on the available fully polarimetric SAR products, azimuth cutoff is found to vary greatly with polarizations. The present SAR mapping transformation is sufficient to interpret the co-polarized azimuth cutoff, while not for the cross-polarzation.
With the limitations of SAR imaging in mind, a new parameter is proposed and defined based on the SAR image cross-spectra, termed as MACS. The imaginary part of MACS is found to be a signed quantity relative to the wind direction. Given this dependence, an independent wind retrieval algorithm is expected to benefit. The magnitude of MACS is able to aid for estimate of modulation function of SAR mapping. In addition, MACS also gives promising results regarding the global wave studies. The global signatures of MACS at various wavelengths are well representative of the winds distributions, spatially and seasonally. MACS of long waves shows greater values over the storm tracks while the shorter waves are mostly within the trader winds. These results are expected to help evaluate the model outputs and complement further studies of the global wave spectral climate. Data continuity in the coming 10 years shall extend the study towards longer duration.