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Altimetry: Past, Present, and Future

Carl Wunsch(1)

(1) MIT, Room 54-1524, Cambridge, 02139, United States


Modern high accuracy altimetric data sets are now taken for granted by the oceanographic, geodetic, and related communities. Except for a few of the remaining active pioneers, memory is rapidly fading of the very great difficulties, technical, scientific, and political, involved in getting us to the point where useful data can be obtained with the click of a mouse. I will sketch the problems that had to be overcome, and the ones that remain. The problems of the future are also very great, but many of them tend to have a different character---dictated by the fact that altimetry, along with other developments, has transformed oceanography from a small academic discipline into a large community dealing with numerous issues of societal interest in addition to the scientific problems.


Workshop presentation

Full paper


                 Last modified: 07.10.03