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First Announcement

Dear Colleagues,

Fifteen years after the launch of ERS-1 and TOPEX/POSEIDON, the European Space Agency, in collaboration with the French Space Agency, CNES, is organising an exceptional Symposium on "15 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry". This event will be sponsored by NASA and other partner agencies and organizations supporting the development of altimetry. Along with this symposium, two related events will take place on the same week, the annual meeting of the Ocean Surface Topography Science Team (OSTST)and the International Doris Service (IDS) workshop. These three events will be held on 13 to 18 of March 2006, in Venice, Italy. (NB: since the first announcement was issued the ARGO Science Workshop was welcomed into the Symposium.)

The main themes for the "15 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry" Symposium are:

* 15 year of Progress in Radar Altimetry: a historical perspective (keynote presentations)

- historical overview

- lessons learned

- successful and unachievable projects

- unexpected applications (e.g., River and Lake level monitoring, MSL monitoring, Global DEM, tsunami observation...)

* Advances in our understanding of the ocean

- ocean currents: how have things improved in 15 years?

- large scale ocean phenomena: intra-seasonal, seasonal cyle, El Nino Rossby waves, pluri-annual oscillations...

- tide modeling, non-linear components, internal waves

- high frequency signals, mesoscale and coastal applications

- marine meteorology, SWH and wind speed,

- detecting rain, gaz exchange fluxes at the surface

* Advances in our understanding of the Cryosphere

- Antarctic and Greenland mass balance

- sea ice monitoring, sea ice thickness

* Altimetry over Land

- global DEMs

- river and lake level monitoring

- surface roughness

* Altimetric contributions to gravity field, marine geoïd modeling and orbit determination

- gravimetry results from geodetic mission (CHAMP, GRACE)

- the impact of ERS-1 geodetic mission, further improvements, and expectations.

- ocean floor topography mapping

- orbit determination and gravity model tailoring: contributions of DORIS, PRARE, GPS,laser techiques and altimetry

* The 15-year altimetric record: challenges and achievements

- (cross-)calibration and long-term monitoring of instruments: biases, drift models, shortcomings

- multi-satellite sea level change: the spatial and temporal record

- advances in precision: from 15 cm to the 1 cm challenge!

- interesting/unexpected scientific results (Mean Sea Level monitoring, decadal oscillations...)

* Synergy between Altimetry, other data and models: "the integrated approach"

- comparison with in-situ data: tide gauges, ship data, buoys and Argo profilers ...

- sea level, sea surface temperature, ocean colour (and on-coming sea surface salinity): a marriage made in space

- Altimetry impact in ocean monitoring and forecasting operational systems

* Outlook

- requirements for future Altimetric missions (Oceanography, Cryosphere, Land)

- operational Oceanography missions and continuity

- third generation altimeters (synthetic aperture and wide swath instruments)

- the need for a Hydrology mission

- merging Altimeter data with spaceborne Gravity mission data

* Outreach

- The use of the internet and other media in promoting satellite altimetry

- Education programs

- Science return towards the public

The "15 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry" Symposium will take place in

the first half of the week (3 days).

The OSTST meeting, convened by Y. Ménard (CNES) and Lee Lueng Fu (JPL), will be held in the second half of the week (2.5 days) and will address specific issues on the TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason-1 projects, including algorithm and model improvement, CalVal activities, merging with other altimetric satellites (GFO, ENVISAT), preparation of the Jason-2 mission. A complete agenda will be prepared later by the OSTST chairmen, according to contributions from the OSTST Pis and CoIs. Because of the obvious relationship with the symposium, it is proposed that the purely science presentations of the OSTST Pis and CoIs be given in the Symposium. This will leave more time during OSTST for specific and technical presentations and discussions.The IDS workshop (2 days), convened by G. Tavernier (CNES), the IDS chairman, will take place in parallel to the "15 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry" Symposium and the OSTST meeting and will foster dialogue between IDS members and users of the Doris system, in the area of orbit determination, precise positioning and other application fields. Please consider your participation to this exceptional event and reserve the week from 13 to 18 March 2006 in your agenda. For the symposium, a call with detailed information and deadlines will be sent subsequently, along with the indication of a dedicated web site to submit your contributions to be reviewed by the Scientific Committee. For OSTST and IDS meetings, additional informations and call for contributions will be sent out and linked to the same website.

Looking forward to your participation in this unique event.

Jérôme Benveniste (ESA) and Yves Ménard (CNES)

Organising Committee Chairs


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