You must have a javascript-enabled browser and javacript and stylesheets must be enabled to use some of the functions on this site.


Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox and Radar Altimetry Tutorial: a new set of tools for all altimetry users

Vinca Rosmorduc(1) , Jérôme Benveniste(2) , Nicolas Picot(3) , Joël Dorandeu(1) , Philippe Sicard(1) , and Philippe Poilbarbe(1)

(1) CLS, 8-10 rue Hermes, 31520 Ramonville StAgne, France
(2) ESA, Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati, Italy
(3) CNES, 18 av. E. Belin, 31404 Toulouse Cedex, France


Whether you’re a newcomer or an old-timer in altimetry,

Whether you’re working on ocean, atmosphere, ice, or on the more solid land,

Whether you need your data fresh from the satellite, or lovingly matured through the ground segment processing,

Whether you ingest data like a horse or like a bird,

Whether you like flashy color maps or prefer serious black and white curves,

BRAT & RAT are made for you!

The field of satellite altimetry has matured to a point where it is now time to encourage a multimission approach (between various altimetry systems) and conceive an "all-altimeter" toolbox and tutorial. Such an integrated approach and view is vital not only for assessing the current status of what offers altimeter products but also to show the system sustainability (Cryosat, Jason-2, Sentinel missions, NPoess missions) and consistency with the past. Thus ESA and CNES join their forces to produce:

- A general Radar Altimetry Tutorial (RAT) taking into account 15 years of effort in education and public outreach on satellite altimetry, including web site, brochures, tutorials, lectures, etc.

- An "Open Source" Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox (BRAT) able of handling several altimetry missions’ data products, of performing advanced data processing, and of visualizing the data. The toolbox will be complete, with all the needed documentation and advanced processors needed for satellite altimetry scientific applications in any of the following research domains: cryospheric science, oceanography, marine meteorology, land process studies including hydrology and geodesy.

The main beneficiaries of these toolbox and tutorial will be the altimetry users, experienced as well as beginners, and particularly the users of the upcoming CryoSat mission.

The toolbox overall objective will be to facilitate the use of satellite altimetry products for altimetry users and answer to particular needs of specific applications. This objective drives a few others like:

1. to form the young scientists and professionals (young in term of experience) that will be the principal movers and users of altimetry outputs (cf. tutorial + application issues),

2. to facilitate the visibility / understanding / exchange of the altimetry data (standardised discovery metadata giving special attention on the users' need, disseminating products in a shared and distributed way),

3. to facilitate the acquisition, editing & selection of altimeter products and auxiliary data (with care for choice of environmental corrections and reference fields, data removal according to validation criteria),

4. to cover special data issues like combining altimetry measurements together in order to provide long term data series or high-resolution merged products.

5. to facilitate the using, viewing and post-processing of level 2 altimeter data products for an optimal use by oceanographers at higher levels and the handling of necessary auxiliary data.


Full paper

Workshop poster


                 Last modified: 07.10.03