Abstract's details

Sentinel-3 Land STM: Sea Ice Thematic Products

Sara Fleury (LEGOS, France)


Fanny PIRAS (CLS, France); Stefan HENDRICKS (AWI, Germany); Jérémie AUBLANC (CLS, France); Ghita JETTOU (CLS, France); Pierre FEMENIAS (ESA, Italy)

Event: 2022 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science IV: Altimetry for Cryosphere and Hydrology

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: PDF file


Sentinel-3 is an Earth observation satellite series developed by the European Space Agency as part of the Copernicus Programme. It currently consists of 2 satellites: Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B, launched respectively on 16 February 2016 and 25 April 2018. Among the on-board instruments, the satellites carry a radar altimeter to provide operational topography measurements of the Earth’s surface. Over sea-ice, the main objective of the Sentinel-3 constellation is to provide accurate measurements of the sea-ice sea surface height and the sea-ice radar freeboard. Compared to previous missions embarking conventional pulse limited altimeters, Sentinel-3 is measuring the surface topography with an enhanced spatial resolution, thanks to the on-board SAR Radar ALtimeter (SRAL), exploiting the delay-Doppler capabilities.

To further improve the performances of the Sentinel-3 Altimetry products, ESA and the Sentinel-3 LAND Mission Performance Cluster (MPC) recently developed specialized delay-Doppler and Level-2 processing chains over (1) Inland Waters, (2) Sea-Ice, and (3) Land Ice areas. The objective is to provide new dedicated “thematic products” to the users for the three surfaces mentioned. Over sea-ice the T-IPF will include new algorithms, in particular the hamming window and the zero-padding processing. Thanks to the hamming window, the waveforms measured over specular surfaces are cleaned from spurious energy spread by the azimuth impulse response. The zero-padding provides a better sampling of the radar waveforms, notably valuable in case of specular energy returns. The operational production of these thematic products will start by Fall 2022.

To ensure the missions requirements are met, the Sentinel-3 LAND MPC is also in charge of the qualification and the monitoring of the instrument, and core products performances. In this poster, the Sea Ice the Expert Support Laboratories (ESL) of the MPC present a first performance assessment of the Sea Ice thematic products. The analyses include exhaustive inter-comparison with CryoSat-2, showing that the two missions provide similar estimated freeboard measurements. The quality step-up provided by the Sea Ice thematic products, and highlighted in this poster, is a first and major milestone. From now on, the Sentinel-3 Land Thematic Products will independently evolve, to better meet and fulfil the requirements of the Sea Ice community. A Full Mission Reprocessing (FMR) is planned early 2023, to produce fully homogeneous S3A and S3B Sea Ice thematic datasets. A Full Mission Reprocessing (FMR) is planned early 2023, to produce fully homogeneous S3A and S3B Sea Ice thematic datasets.

Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
Mezzanine Tue, Nov 01 2022,17:15 Tue, Nov 01 2022,18:15
Mezzanine Thu, Nov 03 2022,14:00 Thu, Nov 03 2022,15:45
Sara Fleury