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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
Multimission merging for High Resolution Altimetry. Support to assimilation


Yannice Faugere - (CLS)

  Sylvie Labroue
Marie-Helene Rio
Marie-Isabelle Pujol
Claire Dufau
Frederic Briol
  Gerald Dibarboure
Nicolas Picot
Emilie Bronner
Pierre-Yves Le Traon
Eric Dombrowsky


Multimission merging for High Resolution Altimetry. Support to assimilation
Eddies in the Alboran sea on the 4th of July 2012, retrieved merging satellite altimetry data from Jason-1, Jason-2, Cryosat-2 (black arrows) and SST sensors (background image)
Despite all the progress made in the last two decades, there is still much to learn from altimeter data for ocean variability studies. A lot of progress can be achieved, in particular, by improving the use of multiple altimeter data sets. In the past years, effective multi-satellite merging techniques have been developed both for global (e.g. Ducet et al., 2000, Brachet et al., 2003) and for regional (Pujol and Larnicol, 2006, Volkov et al, 2006) studies. We have now more than 20 years of altimeter data sets (1992-2012) and the merging activities will continue by taking into account the new altimeter missions (Altika, Sentinel3, Jason3/OSTM, etc..) which will carry on board new technologies allowing us to access to higher resolution. Moreover, the user needs have evolved in term of precision and resolution and new applications are emerging like the use of altimetry for coastal oceanography. The central purpose of this proposition is to elaborate improved merged altimetry products exploiting optimally the altimetry technologies to meet the user requirements, and quantify their contribution on the understanding of the ocean variability.

This includes:

  • The general improvement of altimeter products, both at global and regional scales for answering needs of all kind of users (from Climate to mesoscale). It covers Level 3 (along track) and Level 4 (maps)
  • The development of specific products dedicate to assimilation which is performed by operational oceanography centers (e.g.: support to Monitoring and Forecasting Centers, carried out for instance in the MyOcean-2 framework)
  • Use the multi-sensor datasets to carry out ocean analyses to understand ocean dynamics as well as climate variability and development of ocean indicators.
  • Theoretical studies on the contribution of multi-satellite missions (constellations) (e.g. Le Traon and Dibarboure, 1999; Le Traon et al., 2001; Le Traon and Dibarboure, 2002; Dibarboure, 2012) for the mapping of sea level and velocity variations

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