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TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1: Absolute Calibration in Bass Strait, Australia

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Abstract:

Updated absolute calibration results from Bass Strait, Australia, are presented for the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) and Jason-1 altimeter missions. Data from an oceanographic mooring array and coastal tide gauge have been used in addition to the previously described episodic GPS buoy deployments. The results represent a significant improvement in absolute bias estimates for the Bass Strait site. The extended methodology has allowed comparison between the altimeter and in situ data on a cycle-by-cycle basis over the duration of the dedicated calibration phase (formation flight period) of the Jason-1 mission. In addition, it has allowed absolute bias results to be extended to include all cycles since the T/P launch, and all Jason-1 data up to cycle 60. Updated estimates and formal 1-sigma uncertainties of the absolute bias computed throughout the formation flight period are 0 ± 14 mm for T/P and +152 + 13 mm for Jason-1 (for the GDR POE orbits). When JPL GPS orbits are used for cycles 1 to 60, the Jason-1 bias estimate is 131 mm, virtually identical to the NASA estimate from the Harvest Platform off California calculated with the GPS orbits and not significantly different to the CNES estimate from Corsica. The inference of geographically correlated errors in the GDR POE orbits (estimated to be approximately 17 mm at Bass Strait) highlights the importance of maintaining globally distributed verification sites and makes it clear that further work is required to improve our understanding of the Jason-1 instrument and algorithm behavior.

Keywords: GPS buoy; Jason-1; TOPEX/Poseidon; altimeter calibration

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01490410490465373

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Spatial Information Science School of Geography and Environmental Studies University of Tasmania Hobart Australia 2: CSIRO Marine Research Hobart Australia Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC Hobart Australia 3: Centre for Spatial Information Science School of Geography and Environmental Studies University of Tasmania Hobart Australia CSIRO Marine Research Hobart Australia Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC Hobart Australia 4: School of Information Sciences and Engineering University of Canberra Australia 5: Geoscience Australia Space Geodesy Analysis Centre Canberra Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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