Abstract's details

Altimetry over inland waters: current achievements thanks to the Open-Loop Tracking Command (OLTC) and perspectives for future missions

Sophie Le Gac (CNES, France)


Denis Blumstein (CNES/LEGOS, France); Léa Lasson (LEGOS/OceanNext, France); Simon Boitard (NOVELTIS, France); Lionel Zawadzki (CLS, France); Maxime Vayre (CLS, France); Nicolas Taburet (CLS, France); François Boy (CNES, France); Amandine Guillot (CNES, France); Etienne Berthier (LEGOS/Univ.Toulouse/CNES/CNRS/IRD, France); Liam Taylor (School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK); Pierre Féménias (ESA/ESRIN, Italy); Nicolas Picot (CNES, France)

Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: The Future of Altimetry

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: not provided


In times of ever decreasing amount of in-situ data for hydrology, altimetry becomes key to provide global and continuous datasets of water surface height. Indeed, studying lakes, reservoirs and rivers water level at global scale is of prime importance for the hydrology community to assess the Earth’s global resources of fresh water.
Much progress has been made in altimeters capability to acquire quality measurements over inland waters. In particular, the Open-Loop Tracking Command (OLTC) represents a major evolution of the tracking function. This tracking mode’s efficiency has been proven on past missions and it is now stated as operational mode for current Sentinel-3 and Jason-3 missions. It has recently benefited from improvements brought to onboard tables contents.
We show how Jason-3 and Sentinel-3 altimetry missions are now able to observe and monitor tens of thousands of lakes and rivers all over the globe and how it is contributing in building a global dataset of inland waters level, in preparation for future missions such as Sentinel-6 and SWOT nadir. For that matter users are also invited to contribute to the definition of onboard tables through a dedicated website.
OLTC can also be used over more challenging surfaces, such as continental glaciers. In particular, one of the challenges of continental ice observation is the glaciers surface slope, so this optimization must be performed carefully. We show early results of a tentative exercise run for Sentinel-3 over a dozen glaciers in Europe (French Pyrenees and Alps), Asia (Pamir and Himalaya) and South America (Peru and Patagonia).
Finally, we present the numerous perspectives foreseen by CNES for innovative data processing techniques and ground validation campaigns.

Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
The Gallery Tue, Oct 22 2019,16:15 Tue, Oct 22 2019,18:00
The Gallery Thu, Oct 24 2019,14:00 Thu, Oct 24 2019,15:45
Sophie Le Gac