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The European Space Agency's Earth Explorer Mission CryoSat: measuring variability in the cryosphere

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CryoSat is currently being prepared for a 2005 launch as the first European Space Agency Earth Explorer Opportunity mission. It is a dedicated cryospheric mission equipped with a Ku-band SIRAL (SAR/Interferometric Radar ALtimeter), whose primary objectives are to measure the variability and trends in the mass of the Arctic sea-ice cover and large terrestrial ice sheets. In this paper, an overview is provided of the mission and of the measurement characteristics of the new SIRAL instrument. Examples of data acquired on recent preparatory campaigns are presented, illustrating the operating characteristics of the key SIRAL modes. Preparatory plans for calibration and validation of CryoSat data are described.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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