Abstract's details

Characterisation of current NRT altimetry applications

Julia Figa-Saldana (EUMETSAT, Germany)


Hans Bonekamp (EUMETSAT, ); John Lillibridge (NOAA, ); Remko Scharroo (EUMETSAT, )

Event: 2014 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Near Real Time Products and Applications and Multi-Mission, Multi-Sensor Observations

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: PDF file


Near Real-Time (NRT) Ocean Surface Topography products, and their incorporation into meteorology and oceanography forecast systems, have seen extensive development with the availability of NRT altimeter data. Many of these products have become operational data services for applications ranging from search and rescue to environmental management. The different applications and their need for different geophysical content, accuracy and timeliness requirements have driven the current operational data services catalogue and its evolution through the Jason1, OSTM/Jason2 and SARAL/AltiKa missions. The continuity of state of the art NRT operations is also a driver in the data services definition for coming missions such as Sentinel-3/SIRAL and Jason-CS.

The accuracy limitations of NRT altimeter data have evolved in the recent years, and so has the multi-mission inter-calibration capability in NRT. In that process, it is fair to reflect at this point on whether the current operational altimeter product suite is the optimum one and where it can be best improved. Upon consultation with key operational users, this paper attempts to provide insight into those aspects by characterising the different operational NRT applications according to their needs in terms of parameter(s), age of the observations, revisit time, geographical coverage, data access constraints and main accuracy limitations. By matching the characteristics of each application with the currently existing products (OGDR/IGDR/GDR/Multi-mission), it should be possible to assess how those satisfy the application needs at present and in which direction should the current altimeter product suite evolve in the coming years.

Julia Figa-Saldana