Validation, cross-calibration and performances of altimetry missions over ocean for mesoscale, coastal and climate applications
Satellite altimetry is now an essential source of data for oceanic signal studies. From the ERS and TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) missions, it has been demonstrated that a continuous precise multi-mission altimeter dataset is mandatory for many scientific applications: mesoscale variability description (Le Traon and Morrow, 2001), seasonal / interannual signals determination (e.g. Chambers et al., 2000, Mc Carthy et al., 2000, Roemmich et al., 2007) and estimation of the Mean Sea Level (MSL) variations (e.g. Nerem et al., 1997, Cazenave et al., 1999, Cabannes et al., 2001, Lombard et al., 2006 among others).
Jason-1, Jason-2, ENVISAT, SARAL/Altika still provide reliable high-quality data albeit not on their original ground track. If we add older datasets such as T/P, ERS-1&2 and GFO missions, complemented with on-going Cryosat-2 and HY-2 an unprecedented ocean sampling of 80 years of cumulated data with up to 4 concurrent altimeters is available. The recent altimetry missions launched in 2016 (Jason-3/OSTST, Sentinel-3a) and future altimetry missions (Sentinel-3b, Sentinel-6/Jason-CS, SWOT) will provide a precious continuity of the sea-level observations for mesoscale, coastal or climate applications.
In order to continue to build an accurate altimetry data record, the validation and cross-calibration of these new altimetry missions is a crucial step. It is also a prerequisite for the use of multi-mission datasets in both delayed mode and near real time and for studies of long-term, low-frequency oceanic signals, or signal and error aliasing.
This analysis includes but is not limited to: