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Instrument image

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
Better than 4.5cm, Wave height: better than 5% or 0.25m
Spatial Resolution:
20km IFOV Altitude: 800km
Swath Width:
Scanning technique: Nadir-only viewing, continuous sampling along track
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 Product Handbook Technical Document download
RA2 Products Specifications Technical Document download
Further information related to RA2 Products and Quality General Reference link
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ERS/Envisat (A)SAR dissemination - Maintenance 29 August 2019

28 August 2019

Due to a scheduled maintenance on the OTF infrastructure, access to the ERS and Envisat (A)SAR data collections on the Simple Online Catalogue (SO-Cat) dissemination tool will be unavailable on Thursday 29 August 2019 from 09:00 to 11:30 CEST.