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Radar Altimeter 2 (RA-2) is an instrument for determining the two-way delay of the radar echo from the Earth's surface to a very high precision: less than a nanosecond. It also measures the power and the shape of the reflected radar pulses.

It is a nadir-looking pulse-limited radar altimeter based on the heritage of ERS-1 RA functioning at the main nominal frequency of 13.575 GHz (Ku Band), which has been selected as a good compromise between the affordable antenna dimension that provides the necessary gain and the relatively low attenuation which experience the signals propagating through the troposphere.

Not Operational
Radar altimeter
Technical Characteristics
Altitude: better than 4.5cm, Wave height: better than 5% or 0.25m
Spatial Resolution:
Swath Width:
Microwave: 13.575Ghz (Ku-Band) & 3.2GHz (S-Band)
Earth Topics
Land ( Topography/Mapping ), Snow and Ice ( Sea Ice ), Ocean and Coast ( Ocean Waves , Ocean Currents and Topography ), Atmosphere ( Winds )
Related Instruments
Available Resources Type Access
RA-2 FAQ Technical Document link
RA2_MWR_IPF_5.03 Technical Document link
ENVISAT RA-2 and MWR Products and Algorithms User Guide Technical Document link
The ENVISAT Radar Altimeter System (RA-2) ESA Bulletin link
Glossary Technical Document link
RA2 Products Specifications Product Document download
Annex A - Product Data Conventions Product Document download
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OTF-OADS maintenance on 22 May 2018

21 May 2018

Due to a scheduled maintenance, access to the On-The-Fly (OTF) Online Dissemination System (OADS) for the ERS and Envisat (A)SAR data, will be unavailable on Tuesday 22 May 2018 from 8:30 to 14:30 CEST.