Sentinel-3 Topography mission Assessment through Reference Techniques
The Copernicus Sentinel-3 Surface Topography Mission (STM) provides extremely valuable surface elevation information over inland waters, sea ice and land ice, thanks to its SAR altimeter which retrieves high-resolution along-track elevation measurements, and to its orbit that covers high-latitude polar regions.
To ensure that these measurements can be used with confidence, and to maximize the return on investment of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 Surface Topography Mission, adequate validation of the geophysical retrieval methods, processing algorithms and corrections must be performed, considering independent observations as Reference Measurements.
The concept of Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) defines guidelines to answer these validation and traceability needs.
FRM are defined as:
“The suite of independent ground measurements that provide the maximum Science Return for a satellite mission by delivering, to users, the required confidence in data products, in the form of independent validation results and satellite measurement uncertainty estimation, over the entire end-to-end duration of a satellite mission.”
St3TART is an 18-month project funded by the EU and ESA, and led by NOVELTIS with a consortium of 17 partners.
The project aims to generalize the concept of FRM for the Copernicus Sentinel-3 Surface Topography Mission (STM) and to collect and distribute FRM data for the validation of the satellite mission over inland waters, sea ice and land ice.
(© PA Garambois, INRAE)