The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) high-priority candidate mission

Michael Kern*, Robert Cullen, Bruno Berruti, Jerome Bouffard, Tania Casal, Mark R. Drinkwater, Antonio Gabriele, Arnaud Lecuyot, Michael Ludwig, Rolv Midthassel, Ignacio Navas Traver, Tommaso Parrinello, Gerhard Ressler, Erik Andersson, Cristina Martin-Puig, Ole Andersen, Annett Bartsch, Sinead Farrell, Sara Fleury, Simon GascoinAmandine Guillot, Angelika Humbert, Eero Rinne, Andrew Shepherd, Michiel R. van den Broeke, John Yackel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) mission is one of six high-priority candidate missions (HPCMs) under consideration by the European Commission to enlarge the Copernicus Space Component. Together, the high-priority candidate missions fill gaps in the measurement capability of the existing Copernicus Space Component to address emerging and urgent user requirements in relation to monitoring anthropogenic CO2 emissions, polar environments, and land surfaces. The ambition is to enlarge the Copernicus Space Component with the high-priority candidate missions in the mid-2020s to provide enhanced continuity of services in synergy with the next generation of the existing Copernicus Sentinel missions. CRISTAL will carry a dual-frequency synthetic-aperture radar altimeter as its primary payload for measuring surface height and a passive microwave radiometer to support atmospheric corrections and surface-type classification. The altimeter will have interferometric capabilities at Kuband for improved ground resolution and a second (non-interferometric) Ka-band frequency to provide information on snow layer properties. This paper outlines the user consultations that have supported expansion of the Copernicus Space Component to include the high-priority candidate missions, describes the primary and secondary objectives of the CRISTAL mission, identifies the key contributions the CRISTAL mission will make, and presents a concept - as far as it is already defined - for the mission payload.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)2235-2251
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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