University Of Tasmania
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The benefits of the Ka-band as evidenced from the SARAL/AltiKa altimetric mission: Quality assessment and unique characteristics of AltiKa data

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posted on 2023-05-21, 11:31 authored by Bonnefond, P, Verron, J, Aublanc, J, Babu, KN, Berge-Nguyen, M, Cancet, M, Chaudhary, A, Cretaux, JF, Frappart, F, Haines, BJ, Laurain, O, Ollivier, A, Poisson, JC, Prandi, P, Sharma, P, Thibaut, P, Christopher WatsonChristopher Watson
The India-France SARAL/AltiKa mission is the first Ka-band altimetric mission dedicated to oceanography. The mission objectives are primarily the observation of the oceanic mesoscales but also include coastal oceanography, global and regional sea level monitoring, data assimilation, and operational oceanography. The mission ended its nominal phase after 3 years in orbit and began a new phase (drifting orbit) in July 2016. The objective of this paper is to provide a state of the art of the achievements of the SARAL/AltiKa mission in terms of quality assessment and unique characteristics of AltiKa data. It shows that the AltiKa data have similar accuracy at the centimeter level in term of absolute water level whatever the method (from local to global) and the type of water surfaces (ocean and lakes). It shows also that beyond the fact that AltiKa data quality meets the expectations and initial mission requirements, the unique characteristics of the altimeter and the Ka-band offer unique contributions in fields that were previously not fully foreseen.


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Remote Sensing



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School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences



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Copyright 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean); Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences