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New CryoSat Geographical Mode Mask v5.0 now in operation

03 May 2023

The current operational Geographical Mode Mask v5.0
The new Geographical Mode Mask v5.0

On 01 May 2023 a new acquisition mask, Geographical Mode Mask v5.0, was put in operation to tackle new scientific challenges and to support the future Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) mission. The previous mask v4.0 had been in operation since 2019.

Notable changes are the addition of five new SAR Interferometric (SARIn) patches, including four in the Arctic (Mini Wingham Box, Fram Strait, Laptev Sea and Barents Sea) and one in the Southern Ocean (Weddell Sea). To enable this, some existing SAR/SARIn patches were modified or removed (see table below). Additionally, SARIn mode was reinstated over the Salar de Uyuni to support mission calibration and validation activities.

CryoSat’s SARIn mode has the potential to deliver better sea ice freeboard and thickness estimates than regular SAR mode, and more accurate monitoring of land ice elevation changes. The update is fundamental to support the future CRISTAL mission, which follows on from CryoSat and will operate in SARIn mode over ice-covered oceans and land ice.

Detailed table of changes to specific zones from v4.0 to v5.0


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