Abstract's details

Sentinel-3 status and performance over ocean

Francesco Nencioli (CLS, France)


Emeline Cadier (CLS, France); Ghita Jettou (CLS, France); Clement Weber (CLS, France); Matthias Raynal (CNES, France); Pierre Femenias (ESA, Italy)

Event: 2022 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Regional and Global CAL/VAL for Assembling a Climate Data Record

Presentation type: Type Oral

Contribution: PDF file


The Copernicus Sentinel-3A mission was successfully launched in February 2016. It is a multi-instrument mission to measure surface topography, sea- and land-surface temperature, ocean colour and land colour with high-end accuracy and reliability. To reach the data coverage required by the Copernicus service, its twin Sentinel-3B was launched on 25th of April 2018. After 5 months in a tandem flight configuration (Sentinel-3B 30 seconds ahead of Sentinel-3A), Sentinel-3B was moved to its final orbit, the same as Sentinel-3A but shifted by 140°.

To assess and monitor the overall performance of the Sentinel-3 mission ESA and EUMETSAT have defined the Mission Performance Framework. Within this framework, the Sentinel-3 Mission Performance Centre (S3-MPC) is the component in charge of the performance of the Optical Mission and of the Surface Topography Mission (STM). For the STM, the S3-MPC has been in charge of several activities:
• Calibration and characterisation of the performance of Sentinel-3 altimeter (SRAL) and microwave radiometer (MWR)
• Validation of the ground processing and final products
• Assessment of the overall mission performance
• Support for the continuous improvement of the S-3 STM performance

Here, we provide an overview of the latest assessment of the STM Sentinel-3A and 3B Level 2 mission performance over the ocean. The analysis will focus on different geophysical parameters (e.g. topography, wind and waves). Mission performance will be assessed through mono-mission diagnostics (e.g. cross-over analysis) as well as through comparison with other altimeters and models.

Our results evidence that both Sentinel STM performance over the ocean are nominal with estimated errors well within the mission requirements for all physical parameters (i.e. sea level anomaly, significant wave height and sigma naught). Observations are consistent with other altimetry missions (e.g. Jason-3 and Saral-Altika) in terms of both global spatial distribution and temporal evolution. Drifts in the global long-term trends of seal level anomaly previously reported for Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B compared to Jason-3 have been addressed: sources of the errors have been identified and solutions to correct them proposed for both Sentinel STMs. Analyses on the residual small errors have also been performed to characterize their spatial patterns and identify potential correlations with other geophysical or instrument parameters.

Oral presentation show times:

Room Start Date End Date
Sala Grande Wed, Nov 02 2022,11:30 Wed, Nov 02 2022,11:45
Francesco Nencioli