What do satellite altimeters measure

Satellite altimetry measures the time taken by a radar pulse to travel from the satellite antenna to the surface and back to the satellite receiver.


The "closure" data from Corsica and Harvest, along with similar information from other verification sites and observing programs, are used to continuously monitor the performance of these ocean altimeter satellite measurement systems. Reset or add a widget with the "wrench" icon.

Satellite radar altimeters measure the ocean surface height sea level by measuring the time it takes a radar pulse to make a round-trip from the satellite to the sea surface and back.

Sea level measurements

Mobile version. Ocean tide models to convert the raw altimeter measurement to the "detided" SSH Estimates from a model of the atmospheric pressure.

what do satellite altimeters measure

Each site is equipped with tracking systems e. These are research topics in our group. Click to enlarge. Have a nice visit!

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User profile. Oceanographic signals are small perturbations typically less than a metre on the geoid signal which has a range of about 200 metres.

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what do satellite altimeters measure

About the project Introduction. Also there is less atmospheric drag on the satellite at this height.

what do satellite altimeters measure

Seventy percent of Earth's surface topography is under the oceans, and cannot be directly sensed by lasers or radars. Each spacecraft carries a radar altimeter that provides this information: Poster available.

Altimetric Bathymetry

NASA's experimental GPS receiver systems onboard the spacecraft provide precise, continuous tracking of the position by monitoring range and timing signals from up to 12 GPS satellites at the same time. This survey information is combined with local measurements of the water level from tide gauges to derive an independent estimate of the ocean height relative to the center of the Earth. One microradian of sea surface slope means that sea level changes by 1 mm vertically for each 1 km you move horizontally.

In reality, though an undersea mountain can be a few kilometers high, the bump in sea level it produces is only a few meters high.