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Validation of SWH and SSHA from SARAL/AltiKa Using Jason-2 and In-Situ Observations

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The focus of this study is the validation of significant wave height (SWH) and sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) obtained from the first Ka-band altimeter AltiKa onboard SARAL (Satellite for ARGOS and Altimeters). It is a collaborative mission of the Indian Space Research Organization and Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). This is done using in-situ observations from buoy and Jason-2 measurements. Validation using buoy observations are at particular locations while that using Jason-2 altimeter is an attempt towards global validation of Altika products. The results clearly indicate that the SARAL/AltiKa provide high-quality data and the errors are within a predefined range of accuracy. A parallel validation of SWH from other altimeters, which monitored ocean since last decade, like EnviSAT and Jason-2 was also performed with buoy observations. The results clearly show that the accuracy of AltiKa SWH is much better than EnviSAT and comparable to reference mission Jason-2. The accuracy is quite good for the calm sea while in the rough seas the accuracy degrades some. The inter-comparison of SARAL/AltiKa SSHA with Jason-2 indicates a fair match between them. These validation exercises demonstrate the high quality of AltiKa products, usable for practical applications.
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Keywords: EnviSAT; Jason-2; Ka-band; NDBC buoy; SARAL/AltiKa; validation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, India 2: India Space Research Organization, Ahmedabad, India 3: National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, India 4: Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, Valbonne, France 5: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse, France

Publication date: September 10, 2015

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