Validation of CryoSat-2 Performance over Arctic Sea Ice

Alessandro Di Bella, Henriette Skourup, J. Bouffard, T. Parrinello

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


The main objective of this work is to validate CryoSat-2 (CS2) SARIn performance over sea ice by use of airborne laser altimetry data obtained during the CryoVEx 2012 campaign. A study by [1] has shown that the extra information from the CS2 SARIn mode increases the number of valid sea surface height estimates which are usually discarded in the SAR mode due to snagging of the radar signal. As the number of valid detected leads increases, the uncertainty of the freeboard heights decreases.
In this study, the snow freeboard heights estimated using data from the airborne laser scanner are used to validate the sea ice freeboard obtained by processing CS2 SARIn level 1b waveforms. The possible reduction in the random freeboard uncertainty is investigated comparing two scenarios, i.e. a SAR-like and a SARIn acquisition.
It is observed that using the extra phase information, CS2 is able to detect leads up to 2370 m off-nadir. A reduction in the the total random freeboard uncertainty of-40% is observed by taking advantage of the CS2 interferometric capabilities, which enable to include-35% of the waveforms discarded in the SAR-like scenario.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventESA Living Planet Symposium 2016 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 9 May 201613 May 2016


ConferenceESA Living Planet Symposium 2016
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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