Investigating SARAL/AltiKA instrument performance with relevance to research/operational programs focussed on continental waters
Event: 2014 SARAL/AltiKa workshop
Session: Inland Waters (contributions involving specifically SARAL/AltiKa)
Presentation type: Type Oral
Standard radar altimetry is applying itself to a number of research and operational-based programs that focus on lakes, reservoirs, river channels and wetland zones. With several decades of surface water level estimates, seasonal and inter-annual variations are being exploited for agriculture and climate analysis. The changes in water heights detected by radar are also used directly as an indicator of hydrologic flux, and are used as input to various algorithms that provide secondary data products including river flow and changes in water storage. Enhanced radar altimetry offers improvements in spatial resolution and accuracy, and multiple data sets allow for cross-validations. Here, we examine the performance of the AltiKa altimeter, and compare the results to the ongoing Jason-2/OSTM derived elevations, and those from the historical ENVISAT and ICESat-1 data sets. Focus is on target acquisition time and elevation accuracy, and the merits of combining the multiple data sets. Regions of study include the Yukon River, the Usangu wetlands, and various lakes and reservoirs around the globe.