AltiKa Radiometer: Instrument Description and In–Flight Performance
On 25 February 2013, the Satellite for Argos and AltiKa (SARAL) was launched from the Indian Sriharikota launch site. The AltiKa payload consisted of an altimeter and a radiometer. This paper describes the AltiKa radiometer. This instrument has been studied for several years by CNES, TAS-F, ASTRIUM-F and a set of science laboratories, and AltiKa is the first compact instrument embedding simultaneously the altimeter and radiometer functions. AltiKa radiometer is a dual frequency instrument working in K (23.8 GHz) and Ka band (37 GHz), it is based on the total power principle, with direct detection receivers. On-ground acceptance tests exhibited a very high level of performance: less than 0.2 dB has been estimated for both sensitivity and absolute accuracy in both frequencies. This paper focuses on the in-flight performances that have been observed since the launch. All the instrument observable characterizations are nominal, and in-flight sensitivity has been estimated lower than 0.2 K.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse, France 2: Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), Toulouse, France
Publication date: September 10, 2015