CryoSat Mission over the Ocean: A Review of Product Validations, Evolutions and Scientific Exploitation
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The main objective of this paper is to present the status of the CryoSat (CS) Mission over the ocean. Launched in 2010, the polar-orbiting CS was primarily developed to measure the changes in the thickness of polar sea ice and the elevation of the ice sheets. Going beyond its ice-monitoring objective, CS is also a valuable source of data for the oceanographic community. The satellite’s radar altimeter can indeed measure high resolution Sea-Level Height (SSH), Significant Wave Height (SWH), and Wind Speed (WS) from the open-ocean to the coast. To enable their full scientific and operational exploitation, the CS ocean products continuously evolve and need to be thoroughly validated via science-oriented diagnostics based on in situ data, models and other satellite missions. In support to ESA, the CS ocean validation team (NOCS, ECMWF and TU Delft/DEOS) conjointly conduct these analysis for both the near real time and offline products for the SSH, the SWH, and the WS parameters. The SSH is validated at the coast against sea level measured by a set of carefully selected tide gauges, HF radars and with the help of tools from the Radar Altimetry Database System (RADS). In the open ocean, the SSH is compared globally with the steric heights derived from ARGO temperature and salinity profiles. Near real time WS and SWH are monitored and validated against the corresponding parameters from ECMWF Integrated Forecast System (IFS), the Wavewatch III model, in-situ buoy and platform instruments as well as from other altimetric missions (Jason2 and Saral/AltiKa). Numerical experiments with CS SWH data assimilation have been recently conducted, showing positive impact on ECMWF model analysis and forecasts and leading to the operational assimilation of CS SWH in IFS. Based on the outcomes from these analysis and the scientific exploitations of CS over the ocean, ESA intends to upgrade the CryoSat Ocean processing chain for 2016.