Abstract's details

Sentinel-3 Land STM: New Hydrology Thematic Products performances over Inland Waters

Nicolas Taburet (CLS, France)


Karina Nielsen (DTU, Denmark); Julien Renou (CLS, France); Jean-François Cretaux (LEGOS/CNES, France); Ghita Jettou (CLS, France); Jérémie Aublanc (CLS, France); Pierre Féménias (ESA/ESRIN, 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 Inland waters, the main objective of the Sentinel-3 constellation is to provide accurate measurements of the water surface height, to support the monitoring of freshwater stocks. 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 LAND products, ESA and the Sentinel-3 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 hydrology the T-IPF will including 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 MPC is also in charge of the qualification and the monitoring of the instrument, and core products performances. In this poster, the Hydrology ESLs (Expert Support Laboratories) of the MPC provide a first performance assessment of the Hydrology thematic products and comparisons with the previous PDGS products. The analyses include comparisons with InSitu datasets, benefiting from the contribution of the St3TART project, and provide an estimate of the Water Surface Height accuracy. Inter satellite comparisons are also in the scope of the studies and Water Surface Height estimates consistency in between Sentinel-3 and ICESat-2 will complement this analysis. The quality step-up provided by the Hydrology 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 from the Copernicus Services and the scientific Hydrology community. A Full Mission Reprocessing (FMR) is planned early 2023, to produce fully homogeneous S3A and S3B Hydrology 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
Nicolas Taburet