Minimize What is CryoSat?
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Europe's first ice mission is an advanced radar altimeter specifically designed to monitor the most dynamic sections of Earth's cryosphere. It borrows synthetic aperture radar and interferometry techniques from standard imaging radar missions to sharpen its accuracy over rugged ice sheet margins and sea ice in polar waters. CryoSat-2 measures 'freeboard' - the difference in height between sea ice and adjacent water - as well as ice sheet altitude, tracking changes in ice thickness.
All registered users can have access to CryoSat Ice and Ocean Data.

Minimize Latest Mission Operations News

New CryoSat dataset with corrected mispointing angle for aberration of light available to users

25 May 2017

A new dataset is now available to CryoSat users which contains Star Tracker mispointing angles corrected for the aberration of light. This dataset is particularly important for those users who are processing the data in Swath Mode. It essentially has no major impact on other applications.

CryoSat data access network maintenance on 08-09 March 2017

24 February 2017

CryoSat users are informed that a mandatory maintenance shall be performed on the network in Kiruna beginning 08 March 2017.

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Browse, plot and download CryoSat products with VtCryoSat

14 February 2017

VtCryoSat is a new ESA tool developed by VisioTerra (France) in order to easily browse and download CryoSat products through an interactive and graphical web interface.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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CryoSat reveals Antarctica in 3D

24 March 2017

Around 250 million measurements taken by ESA's CryoSat over the last six years have been used to create a unique 3D view of Antarctica, offering a snapshot of the undulating surface of this vast ice sheet.

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To the Arctic for CryoSat and beyond

20 March 2017

After the relative quiet of the long dark winter months, the Arctic will be a tad busier over the coming weeks as numerous researchers descend on this harsh, yet fragile environment. Their aim is not to disturb its beauty, but to join forces in an all-out effort to measure ice on land and sea.

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CryoSat reveals lake outbursts beneath Antarctic ice

08 February 2017

A novel way of using ESA's CryoSat mission has revealed how lakes beneath Thwaites Glacier drained into the Amundsen Sea - potentially the largest such outflow ever reported in this region of West Antarctica.

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Satellite cousins have ice covered

16 December 2016

Although not designed to deliver information on ice, ESA's Earth Explorer SMOS satellite can detect thin sea-ice. Since its cousin, CryoSat, is better at measuring thicker ice scientists have found a way of using these missions together to yield an even clearer picture of the changing Arctic.

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Satellites track variations in Antarctica's glacial retreat

12 December 2016

Five satellites spanning two decades have revealed variations in the timing and pace of glacial retreat in West Antarctica. Some glaciers' thinning spreads up to three times faster than on neighbouring tributaries, and was offset by decades.

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Arctic freeze slows down

30 November 2016

ESA's CryoSat satellite has found that the Arctic has one of the lowest volumes of sea ice of any November, matching record lows in 2011 and 2012. Early winter growth of ice in the Arctic has been about 10% lower than usual.

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Probing Greenland's ice sheet for future satellites

16 November 2016

With a helicopter the sole feature on the vast expanse of ice and her only way back to warmth and safety, polar scientist Anna Hogg must have thought, "What on Earth am I doing out here?" as she set to taking ice samples.

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New swath processing for ocean patterns?

28 October 2016

ESA's CryoSat was launched in 2010 to understand how the thickness of Earth's ice is changing, but this sophisticated mission has gone over and above its original remit in a number of ways. Pushing the mission even further, the latest efforts focus on patterns in the ocean.

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CryoSat sets new standard for measuring sea levels

26 July 2016

Trying to measure sea levels around rugged coastlines is not always an easy task. ESA's CryoSat satellite is making a difference with its radar altimeter.

Minimize Science
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Science

Almost 80% of the Earth's fresh water is locked up in the cryosphere, i.e. snow, ice and permafrost. The cryosphere plays an important role in moderating the global climate and as such, the consequences of receding ice cover due to global warming are far reaching and complex. Due to its high albedo, ice masses directly affect the global energy budget by reflecting about 80% of incident sunlight back out to space.