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14 October 2014 From ENVISAT RA-2 to CRYOSAT SIRAL: validation of altimeter products near the coast (the ALCOVA Project)
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Satellite altimetry has proven to be a useful tool to study oceanic processes in the deep ocean; however, its use is still limited in shallow waters near the coast where two main issues still need a more detailed analysis. On one side, the local characteristics of each coastal region imply that certain corrections applied to the altimetry measurements need to be reanalysed. On the other side, the radar signal retracking algorithms need to be improved because the waveforms do not follow the Brown's model, which is designed for deep waters. The ESA mission Envisat was launched in March 2002 with a dual-frequency radar altimetry (RA-2). The satellite was operative until the end of the mission in May 2012. The ESA mission Cryosat-2 was launched in April 2010 being still in operation. The radar instrument on-board Cryosat-2 improves the capabilities of previous pulse-limited altimeters, such as Envisat RA-2. The Spanish-funded ALCOVA project aims at analyzing and improving the altimetry measurements obtained from these two altimetry missions. Regarding the RA-2 data a new prototype retracker -ALES- has been developed under the frame of the ESA-DUE eSurge project. Two pilot regions are proposed, namely, the Gulf of Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar in the Southwestern Iberian Peninsula. Cryosat-2 data (in SAR mode), the newly corrected RA-2 data (based on ALES) and the standard RA- 2 product (based on Brown's model) are being validated with available in-situ data (sea level height) to ensure their correct performance in the selected coastal areas.
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J. Gómez-Enri, Pilar Villares, Begoña Tejedor, Alazne Aboitiz, Irene Laiz, Josep Coca, Stefano Vignudelli, Paolo Cipollini, Marcello Passaro, and José Ramón Torres "From ENVISAT RA-2 to CRYOSAT SIRAL: validation of altimeter products near the coast (the ALCOVA Project)", Proc. SPIE 9240, Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2014, 92400P (14 October 2014);

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