Exploring the Benefits of UsingCryoSat-2's Cross-Track Interferometry to Improve the Resolution of Multisatellite Mesoscale Fields
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Sea surface height (SSH) measurements provided by pulse-limited radar altimeters are onedimensional profiles along the satellite's nadir track, with no information whatsoever in the cross-track direction. The anisotropy of resulting SSH profiles is the most limiting factor of mesoscale SSH maps that merge the 1D profiles. This paper explores the potential of the cross-track slope derived from the Cryosphere Satellite-2 (CryoSat-2)'s synthetic aperture radar interferometry (SARin) mode to
... e the resolution of mesoscale fields in the cross-track direction. Through idealized 1D simulations, this study shows that it is possible to exploit the dual SARin measurement (cross-track slope and SSH profile) in order to constrain mesoscale mapping in the cross-track direction. An error-free SSH slope allows a single SARin instrument to recover almost as much SSH variance as two coordinated altimeters. Noise-corrupted slopes can also be exploited to improve the mapping, and a breakthrough is observed for SARin errors ranging from 1 to 5 μrad for 150-km-radius features in strong currents, and 0.1-0.5 μrad for global mesoscale. Although only limited experiments might be possible with the error level of current CryoSat-2 data, this paper shows the potential of the SAR interferometry technology to reduce the anisotropy of altimeter measurements if the SARin error is significantly reduced in the future, and in particular in the context of a prospective SARin demonstrator optimized for oceanography.