Abstract's details

The Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography (S3NG-TOPO) Mission; Enhancing Continuity, Performance and Hydrology Capabilities

Alejandro Egido (ESA-ESTEC, Netherlands)

Event: 2023 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science IV: Altimetry for Cryosphere and Hydrology

Presentation type: Type Oral

Contribution: PDF file


The Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography (S3NG-TOPO) mission is dedicated to ensuring the baseline continuity of existing Copernicus Sentinel-3 nadir-altimeter measurements from 2030 to 2050 while enhancing measurement performance. The current Sentinel-3 constellation lacks sufficient temporal and spatial sampling capabilities, so improving global-scale altimeter sampling is a key objective. Additionally, hydrology has been recognized as a primary mission objective, introducing a new set of stringent requirements to the mission.

To meet the enhanced baseline sampling goal of ≤5 days revisit at scales ≤50km and fulfil the latency requirements for near-real time (NRT), slow time critical (STC), and non-time critical (NTC) data delivery, a coordinated constellation of spacecraft is required for S3NG-TOPO. The mission will consist of two large spacecraft, each equipped with a nadir-looking synthetic aperture radar (SAR) altimeter, that will enable the baseline continuity with respect the current Sentinel-3 mission, and an across-track baseline line wide swath altimeter, similar to the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission recently launched by CNES and NASA.

The S3NG-TOPO swath altimeter will feature two swaths of 50 km on each side of the track, that would allow an almost complete coverage of the ocean every 5 days, with a specialized high-resolution mode designed for hydrology applications. This mode will enable the measurement of river stage height for rivers wider than or equal to 100m and the monitoring of lakes and reservoirs with areas above 250m x 250m. By combining data from both S3NG-TOPO companion satellites, unprecedented sampling of inland water bodies will be achieved, with near-real-time latencies of less than 6 hours. This capability is particularly important for critical hydrology users and emergency services.

The design of the S3NG-TOPO mission addresses the need for improved altimeter sampling over the open ocean, enhanced hydrology applications, and the timely delivery of data. It builds upon the success of the Sentinel-3 mission while incorporating advanced technologies and configurations to meet the evolving requirements of global ocean monitoring and hydrological studies.

Oral presentation show times:

Room Start Date End Date
Tortuga Beach Room (#209A) Fri, Nov 10 2023,16:45 Fri, Nov 10 2023,17:00
Alejandro Egido