Project Description

CryoSat Plus for Ocean is a project born from the opportunity to take advantage of a new altimetric data type with a, never seen before, higher resolution.

The CryoSat mission is measuring the thickness of ice floating in the oceans and polar ice covers. However, the potential of the SIRAL data application is wider than this, so, in this new area started a new project “CryoSat Plus”, a project divided in two lines: “CryoSat Plus for Ocean” and “CryoSat Plus for Land.”

isardSAT joined on the CryoSat Plus for Ocean group, as part of a consortium integrated for a of top-level european experts team. This group will study various topics including oceans, coastal areas and polar bathymetry. In particular, the isardSAT’s work is the study of coastal areas using SARIN data.

Until now, all altimetric missions have used the conventional mode called “low resolution” by CryoSat. The CryoSat was the first altimetric satellite operating in a new mode called SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), which improves the spatial resolution, basically, on the satellite trace (along track). Also a third mode can be activated in areas of interest, like SARIN, using the two antennas on board in reception and adding the SAR mode to the interferometry, improves the spatial resolution, in this case, drawn perpendicular to the satellite (across track). That’s why this instrument is called SIRAL (Synthetic aperture radar interferometric radar altimeter).

There is an especial interest in know more about the sea coast behavior because the human-coast relation. The main problem is the echoes interferences from the land, losing the reliability of the altimetric data. These interferences cause a degradation data and make impossible real or scientific applications in these areas. Our mission is working whit the information of the SARIN phase mode in order to remove the interferences caused by the closeness of the satellite trace with the land. Knowing this phase, the arrival sign angle can be derived, and adding coordinates of the satellite and its height over the ellipsoid we can determine the geolocation point where has the echo reflected from the ground.

Project Details

  • Team

    It is a project managed by SatOC, involving several companies and institutions such as isardSAT, University of Porto, DTU Space, TU Delft, CLS, CNES, Noveltis, Starlab and NOC

  • Duration


  • Tags

    • Geophysical Validation
    • CryoSat-2
    • Algorithm Development
    • Ocean and Coast