CryoSat, the first of the ESA 'Earth Explorer' missions, is designed to
measure fluctuations in Earth's land and marine ice fields, and is expected to
provide new information on the changes in Arctic sea ice, the margins of the
Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and smaller ice caps around the globe. In
the past year, integration testing has provided detailed payload and platform
performances, and the level 1 and 2 data processor design have been finalised.
The mission is now approaching its launch in 2005. ESA organised the
first CryoSat User Workshop at ESRIN (Italy) on the 8th, 9th and
10th of March 2005.
The workshop was open to all scientists with an interest in the CryoSat
mission and its data products. The workshop aimed to provide new and familiar
users of the mission with a detailed understanding of the mission status and
projected performance at launch, and provide the first presentation to users of
the processing algorithms. In addition, 'practice' validation experiments
took place in 2003 and 2004 over Arctic ice sheets and sea ice, providing
important experience for the conduct of the post-launch validation experiments.
The workshop reviewed these results, and provided a view of validation
activities planned from 2005 to 2007 by ESA and national agencies. It provided
an opportunity for new users to coordinate their activities with the existing
plans. The acquisition of SAR, SARIn and LRM modes data were finalised
following the CryoSat Data AO, and the data will have uses in oceanography,
geodesy and land hydrology in addition to the cryospheric applications, and the
workshop also discussed these applications.
The workshop provided a forum
for presenting progress in the development of
- The satellite, payload and operations
- Level 1 and 2 data processing and products
- Calibration and Validation
- Exploitation of CryoSat data in cryospheric, oceanographic,
geodesy and hydrology
- Novel uses of the CryoSat SAR and SARIn modes