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


Yannice Faugere - (CLS)

  Marie-Isabelle Pujol
Claire Dufau
Clément Ubelmann
Gerald Dibarboure
Yan Drillet
Ananda Pascua
(Mercator Ocean)

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).
The DUACS system produces, as part of the CNES/SALP project, and the Copernicus Marine Environment and Monitoring Service, high quality multimission altimetry Sea Level products for oceanographic applications, climate forecasting centers, geophysic and biology communities... These products consist in directly usable and easy to manipulate Level 3 (along-track cross-calibrated SLA) and Level 4 products (multiple sensors merged as maps or time series) and are available in global and regional version (Mediterranean Sea, Arctic, European Shelves …).

The quality of the products is today limited by the altimeter technology “Low Resolution Mode” (LRM), and the lack of available observations. The launch of 2 new satellites in 2016, Jason-3 and Sentinel-3A, opens new perspectives. Using the global Synthetic Aperture Radar mode (SARM) coverage of S3A and optimizing the LRM altimeter processing (retracking, editing, ...) will allow us to fully exploit the fine-scale content of the altimetric missions. Thanks to this increase of real time altimetry observations we will also be able to improve Level-4 products by combining these new Level-3 products and new mapping methodology, such as dynamic interpolation. Overcoming all these challenges will provide major upgrades of Sea Level products to better fulfill user needs.

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