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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
Scientific studies for the SARAL/AltiKa ka band altimetry satellite mission


Jacques Verron - (LEGI)

  Florence Birol
Stéphane Calmant
Anny Cazenave
Frédéric Marin
Frédérique Remy
Laurent Testut
  Frédérique Seyler
Laurence Eymard
Jérôme Vialard
Bertrand Chapron
Jean Michel Lefevre


Scientific studies for the SARAL/AltiKa ka band altimetry satellite mission
Scientific studies for the SARAL/AltiKa Ka band altimetry satellite mission
SARAL-AltiKa is an India-France ISRO-CNES joint collaborative project. The SARAL/AltiKa mission will realize precise, repetitive global measurements of sea surface height for studying mesoscale variability, developing coastal oceanography, inland waters and ice sheets monitoring. The advantage of SARAL/AltiKa is that it is based on a wideband Ka-band altimeter (35.75 GHz, 500 MHz), which will be the first satellite altimeter dedicated to oceanography to operate at such a high frequency with improved performance both in terms of spatial and vertical resolution. Details can be found for example on

The objectives of the mission are to make use of global measurements of sea surface height, significant wave height and wind speed for developing scientific research capabilities, help understanding of climate, and developing forecasting capabilities. In tandem with Jason-2, SARAL/AltiKa is planned to contribute to the following main goals:

  • Ocean Meso-scale variability studies,
  • Data assimilation in global and regional ocean models,
  • Coastal Altimetry.

The following other scientific objectives are also planned with the SARAL/AltiKa data:

  • Climate and mean sea level monitoring,
  • Marine meteorology and sea state forecasting,
  • Ice sheet and sea ice dynamics,
  • Inland Hydrology,
  • Light rainfall and cloud climatology and other geophysical investigations.

The present project adresses 12 different scientific projects relevant of the SARAL/AltiKa scientific objectives.

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