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Satellite data sources

Altimeters for accurate measurements of significant wave height, sea surface height, surface wind speeds and a good estimate of zero upcrossing wave period. For more information on altimetry visit the ESA Radar Altimetry Tutorial, and for wave data products visit the GlobWave Portal.

Satellite (sensor)

Availability

Description

More

Envisat (RA-2)

Archive

Narrow swath, 35-day repeat, data to 81.5 degrees latitude

ESA

Jason-1

Archive

Narrow swath, 10-day repeat, data to 66 degrees latitude

NASA

Jason-2

NRT <3 hours

Narrow swath, 10-day repeat, data to 66 degrees latitude. Continuation of Jason-1 mission.

AVISO

GFO

Archive

Narrow swath, 17-day repeat

NASA

ERS-2

Archive

Narrow swath, 35-day repeat, limited coverage

ESA

Scatterometers for broad swath measurements of surface wind speed and direction.

Satellite (sensor)

Availability

Description

More

Quikscat

Archive

Broad swath, 25km resolution, data to 80 degrees latitude

NASA

Metop (ASCAT)

NRT <3 hours

Broad swath, 25km resolution

EUMETSAT

ERS-2

Archive

Broad swath, limited coverage

ESA

Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) for radar imagery that gives surface features including information on winds, waves, currents, oil slicks and ship detection.

Satellite (sensor)

Availability

Description

More

Envisat (ASAR)

Archive

C-band, down to 30m resolution, 100-400km swath

ESA

Radarsat

Commercially

C-band, multiple beam modes

RADARSAT

TerraSAR-X

Commercially

X-band, 1-16m resolution

Infoterra

Radiometers for measurements of sea surface temperature.

Satellite (sensor)

Availability

Description

More

Envisat (AATSR)

Archive

1km resolution, 500km swath

ESA

NOAA (AVHRR)

For research and commercially

Operational satellite series, 1km resolution, 2900km swath

ESA

Spectral sensors for measurements of ocean colour giving information on water quality.

Satellite (sensor)

Availability

Description

More

Envisat (MERIS)

Archive

1km or 300m resolution, 15 bands

ESA

Aqua (MODIS)

For research and commercially

1km resolution, 36 bands

NASA

Proba (CHRIS)

For research and commercially

17m resolution, 18 bands

ESA

Quickbird

Commercially

High resolution imaging, 2.6m resolution, 4 bands

DigitalGlobe


Calibration and validation

We work to ensure the best possible quality of data products and have previously carried out calibration and validation of altimeters for space agencies. For more information including calibration notes visit the calibration pages from Satellite Observing Systems.


Satellite Oceanographic Consultants Ltd 2014