Wide-Swath Ocean Altimetry Using Multisatellite Single-Pass Interferometry
Event: 2023 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Science III: Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale oceanography
Presentation type: Type Poster
Contribution: PDF file
Estimating sea surface height using cross-track interferometry (XTI) requires high sensitivity because the ocean surface signal is in the order of 10 cm. In addition, the interferometer requires a temporal delay of a few milliseconds to ensure the coherency of the moving ocean surface. We show that a squinted line of sight (LoS), in combination with a helix satellite formation, allows optimizing the effective perpendicular and along-track baselines to satisfy these conditions. This article presents a model to estimate the performance of a formation-flying cross-track interferometer with a squinted LoS. The tenth Earth Explorer, Harmony, which features two bistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) companions, and a theoretical system with one monostatic and one bistatic SAR are used as case studies. The standard deviation of the height estimate is 1–10 cm between 29° and 41° and increases to 30 cm at the far range (46°) at a wind speed of 5 m/s . The power spectral density of the elevation shows that spatial scales of 47 km can be resolved. The performance improves at higher wind speeds due to higher backscattering. At a wind speed of 15 m/s , the wavelengths from 27 to 11 km can be resolved, depending on the elevation spectrum. The performance over a 250-km swath enables the instantaneous estimation of the surface elevation at the submesoscales for the first time.