Global Analysis of Jason-1 over Inland Water
Berry, P.; Freeman, J.; Smith, R.
De Montfort University

The Jason-1 mission is collecting a huge database of altimeter echoes over the earth’s land surfaces. However, it is widely reported that the performance of this instrument over inland water is severely sub-optimal, with few targets successfully acquired, and poor derived heights.

This paper presents a global analysis of the performance of Jason-1 over inland water targets, and demonstrates that, although the performance of this instrument is significantly poorer than would be expected on the basis of analysis of TOPEX data, Jason-1 does successfully acquire data over a considerable number of inland water targets. Whilst endemic off-ranging compromises the utility of some of these data, resulting in gaps in the derived time series over inland water, a global analysis of 3 years of waveforms confirms that excellent time series of heights can be obtained if the waveforms are filtered to minimise off-ranging and are then retracked to obtain an accurate range to target. Jason-1 thus makes a valuable contribution to the global monitoring and measurement of inland water; additionally, the Near-Real-Time capability gives the possibility of deriving inland water heights within a few days of measurement.


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