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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
The Harvest Experiment: Preserving and Enhancing the Long-Term Altimeter Validation Record


Bruce Haines - (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

  Dr. Shailen Desai
Dr. Robert Leben
Dr. Dallas Masters
Prof. Robert Nerem
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

The principal objective of the proposed work is to rigorously validate the long-term altimetric record of global sea level, and its constituent measurements, using in situ data collected at the 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 Harvest experiment has provided accurate and continuous in-situ data for nearly 25 years, enabling unprecedented monitoring of the emerging climate record from T/P through Jason-3.

Harvest will continue to serve a vital role in validating data from precise space-borne radar altimeter systems. Estimates of the measurement system bias and stability of all relevant altimetric systems will be routinely supplied to the Ocean Surface Topography Science Team (OSTST) and will be accompanied by rigorous error estimates. In addition, we will exploit the collocation at Harvest 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. Finally, we will expand the in-situ footprint at Harvest to support regional overflights (e.g., from Sentinel missions), and to prepare for the unique challenges of the SWOT mission.

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