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River and Lake Level data from Radar Altimetry in Support of the Tiger Initiative
Benveniste, J1; Benveniste, J1; Berry, P2; Berry, P2; Milagro-Perez, M.P3; Milagro-Perez, M.P3; Serpe, D3; Serpe, D3
1ESA; 2De Montfort Univ.; 3Serco

A web-based pilot demonstration makes Envisat-derived radar altimetry measurements of the inland surface water level freely available in near-real time, globally, therefore supporting the TIGER Initiative to supply EO data to Africa for water resource management. Envisat's Radar Altimeter-2 data are processed in Near real time by a sophisticated algorithm developed by De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester, UK, under ESA contract. Until now reliable information has been difficult to access because of the high cost in equipment, manpower and communications, and because it still is problematical to obtain hydrological data from many countries, despite efforts from international organizations, agencies and forums. The near-real-time processing system identifies that part of each surface echo originating from inland water, enabling measurement of much smaller targets, with an increased accuracy, than has previously been possible. With the recent improvement of the data processing in real-time of the precise orbit determination system aboard the satellite, DORIS, the system can be pushed further to deliver water levels in less than six hours, in order to better satisfy the actual needs of users. Supported by the European Space Agency's Earth Observation Data User Element, the River and Lake project is aimed at developing, demonstrating and assessing an information service based on inland water altimetry, globally and both in near real time and for analysing long time series. The data retrieved over Africa is supporting ESA's TIGER initiative. Following the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, the European Space Agency has launched the TIGER Initiative - focusing on the use of space technology for water resource management in Africa and providing concrete actions to match the Resolutions. A brief description of the initiative and its present status will be presented.

 

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