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CryoSat-2 Full Bit Rate Level 1A processing and validation for inland water applications

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Moore, Dr Stephen Birkinshaw


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© 2017 This study uniquely processes Cryosat-2 Full Bit Rate (FBR) SAR Level 1A data to recover inland water heights. The processing methodology involves an azimuthal Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) for the burst echo data followed by beam formation directed towards equi-angular ground points, stacking, slant range correction, multi-looking and finally retracking. It is seen that speckle in the burst echo data affects the recovered heights with precise heights recovered only through stacking and forming multi-look waveforms. Also investigated is the effect of different numbers of multi-looks in the stack to form the final waveform for retracking. A number of empirical retrackers are utilized over inland waters and compared against the oceanic SAMOSA2 and the OCOG/Threshold retrackers. Use of the SAMOSA2 retracker is shown to be inappropriate for inland waters. The use of 81 multi-looks from the stack centred on the nadir direction is shown to be preferred across Tonlé Sap with the RMS of height residuals in the range 4–6 cm. External validation across Tonlé Sap using gauge data shows that CryoSat-2 heights (RMS 42.1 cm) are comparable to OSTM (RMS 42.6 cm) despite the CryoSat-2 non-repeating orbit which precludes the use of a mean profile. Validation against gauge data at Kratie on the Mekong gives an RMS of 59.9 cm for Cryosat-2 against an RMS of 35.5 cm and 52.2 cm derived from Envisat. The CryoSat-2 results utilize an approximate correction for river slope as the river crossings span 5 km upstream to 80 km downstream of the gauge while the repeat pass crossings of Envisat are at 7 km and 43 km from the gauge. Validation of Amazon altimetric Surface Water Elevation (SWE) showed RMS agreement of 27.3 cm with Obidos gauge data and 56.3 cm at Manacapuru 650 km upstream of Obidos. Overall validations showed that CryoSat-2 altimetric river heights are more accurate than those from TOPEX/Poseidon, OSTM and Envisat for relatively large water bodies but less accurate than the Ka band SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moore P, Birkinshaw SJ, Ambrozio A, Restano M, Benveniste J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advances in Space Research

Year: 2018

Volume: 62

Issue: 6

Pages: 1497-1515

Print publication date: 15/09/2018

Online publication date: 18/12/2017

Acceptance date: 13/12/2017

ISSN (print): 0273-1177

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1948

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2017.12.015


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