The principal objective of this work is to rigorously calibrate the long-term altimetric record of global sea level, and its constituent measurements, using in situ data collected at the PXP Harvest Oil Platform. Located off the coast of central California, the Harvest platform was established as the NASA primary verification site for TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) prior to its launch in 1992. The calibration experiment has provided accurate and continuous in-situ data for over 15 years, enabling unprecedented monitoring of the emerging climate record from T/P and Jason-1.
The joint U.S./France Ocean Surface Topography Mission follows the same ground track as its predecessors, implying that Harvest will continue to serve a vital role in validating data from precise space-borne radar altimeter systems. Estimates of the OSTM measurement system bias and stability will be routinely supplied to the Ocean Surface Topography Science Team (OST/ST) and will be accompanied by rigorous error estimates. In addition, the collocation at Harvest will be exploited to help segregate the various potential sources of bias and drift in the satellite measurement systems, and to understand and minimize the errors in the in-situ systems.
The Harvest Experiment: Calibration of the Emerging Climate Record from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and OSTM