Absolute Calibration of the Jason-1 Altimeter Using UK Tide Gauges

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This article describes an “absolute” calibration of Jason-1 (J-1) altimeter sea surface height bias using a method developed for TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) bias determination reported previously. The method makes use of U.K. tide gauges equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to measure sea surface heights at the same time, and in the same geocentric reference frame, as Jason-1 altimetric heights recorded in the nearby ocean. The main time-dependent components of the observed altimeter-minus-gauge height-difference time series are due to the slightly different ocean tides at the gauge and in the ocean. The main harmonic coefficients of the tide differences are calculated from analysis of the copious TOPEX data set and then applied to the determination of T, P, and J-1 bias in turn. Datum connections between the tide gauge and altimetric sea surface heights are made by means of precise, local geoid differences from the EGG97 model. By these means, we have estimated Jason-1 altimeter bias determined from Geophysical Data Record (GDR) data for cycles 1–61 to be 12.9 cm, with an accuracy estimated to be approximately 3 cm on the basis of our earlier work. This J-1 bias value is in close agreement with those determined by other groups, which provides a further confirmation of the validity of our method and of its potential for application in other parts of the world where suitable tide gauge, GPS, and geoid information exist.

Keywords: GPS; altimeter calibration; tide gauges

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01490410490465328

Affiliations: 1: Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Liverpool UK 2: Department of Geomatics University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Newcastle UK 3: Shanghai Astronomical Observatory Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai People's Republic of China 4: Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham UK

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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