Assessing altimetry close to the coast
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© 2017 SPIE. Radar altimetry provides measurements of sea surface elevation, wind speed and wave height, which are used operationally by many agencies and businesses, as well as for scientific research to understand the changes in the oceanatmosphere interface. For the data to be trustworthy they need to be assessed for consistency, and for bias relative to various validation datasets. Sentinel-3A, launched in Feb. 2016, promises, through new technology, to be better able to retrieve useful measurements in the coastal zone; the purpose of this paper is develop ideas on how the performance of this instrument can be assessed in that specific environment. We investigate the magnitude of short-term variability in wave height and range, and explain how two validation facilities in the southwest UK may be used.
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