Evaluation of SARAL/AltiKa performance using GNSS/IMU equipped buoy in Sajafi, Imam Hassan and Kangan Ports

AuthorsAlireza A. Ardalan, Iraj Jazireeyan, Naser Abdi, Mohammad-Hadi Rezvani
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Paper TypeFull Paper
Published At2018-01-10
Journal GradeISI
Journal TypeElectronic
Journal CountryUnited Kingdom



Performance of SARAL/AltiKa mission has been evaluated within 2016 altimeter calibration/validation framework in Persian Gulf through three campaigns conducted in the offshore waters of Sajafi, Imam Hassan and Kangan Ports, while the altimeter overflew the passes 470, 111 and 25 on 13 Feb, 7 March and 17 June 2016, respectively. As the preparation, a lightweight buoy was equipped with a GNSS receiver/choke-ring antenna and a MEMS-based IMU to measure independent datasets in the field operations. To obtain accurate sea surface height (SSH) time series, the offset of the onboard antenna from the equilibrium sea level was predetermined through surveying operations as the buoy was deploying in the onshore waters of Kangan Port. Accordingly, the double-difference carrier phase observations have been processed via the Bernese GPS Software v. 5.0 so as to provide the GNSS-derived time series at the comparison points of the calibration campaigns, once the disturbing effects due to the platform tilt and heave have been eliminated. Owing to comparing of the SSH time series and the associating altimetry 1 Hz GDR-T datasets, the calibration/validation of the SARAL/AltiKa has been performed in the both cases of radiometer and ECMWF wet troposphere corrections so as to identify potential land contamination. An agreement of the present findings in comparison with those attained in other international calibrations sites confirms the promising feasibility of Persian Gulf as a new dedicated site for calibration/validation of ongoing and future altimetry missions.

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tags: SARAL/AltiKa altimeter;Absolute bias;Tilt and heave corrections;Sea surface height (SSH) time series;GNSS/IMU buoy