Calibration and Validation of altimeter observations and models by means of global multi-mission crossover analysis

Denise Dettmering (Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI-TUM), Germany)


Christian Schwatke (DGFI-TUM, Germany)

Event: 2017 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Regional and Global CAL/VAL for Assembling a Climate Data Record

Presentation type: Type Poster

The satellite altimeter scenario of the past two decades provides continuous and precise monitoring of the ocean surface with a beneficial spatio-temporal sampling. Since 1992 two or more contemporaneous missions are continuously available. For climate studies a consistent long-term data record is a fundamental requirement. However, combining missions with different sampling capabilities requires a careful pre-processing and calibration of all altimeter systems. The latter can be done by a global cross-calibration of all missions. In addition, a cross-calibration is able to provide information on the quality of single missions and to reveal e.g. instrument drifts or differences in the center-of-origin realization of satellite’s orbits.

DGFI-TUM uses an extended multi-mission crossover analysis approach in order to assess the performance of each mission. The cross-calibration is realized globally by adjusting an extremely large set of single- and dual-satellite sea surface height (SSH) crossover differences performed between all contemporaneous altimeter systems. The total set of crossover differences creates a highly redundant network and enables a robust estimate of radial errors with a dense and rather complete sampling for all altimeter systems analysed. Iterative variance component estimation is applied to obtain an objective relative weighting between altimeter systems with different performance. The analysis yields time series of radial errors of each mission and can be used to derive inter-mission biases, to identify potential altimeter drifts, as well as to extract information on the quality of precise orbit determination (POD) and geophysical corrections (e.g., wet tropospheric errors).

This contribution will focus on the missions that are currently active (mainly Jason-2, Jason-3, Sentinel-3). It will present most recent results for long-term drift behaviour and geographically correlated errors.

Poster show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Concerto Ballroom Thu, Oct 26 2017,14:00 Thu, Oct 26 2017,18:00
Denise Dettmering
Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI-TUM)