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Instrument image

The Radar Altimeter is a Ku-band (13.8 GHz) nadir-pointing active microwave sensor designed to measure the time return echoes from ocean and ice surfaces. Functioning in one of two operational modes (ocean or ice) the Radar Altimeter provides information on significant wave height; surface wind speed; sea surface elevation, which relates to ocean currents, the surface geoid and tides; and various parameters over sea ice and ice sheets.

Not Operational
Radar Altimeter
Technical Characteristics
Wave height: 0.5m or 10% (whichever is smaller), Sea surface elevation: better than 10cm
Spatial Resolution:
Footprint is 16-20km
Swath Width:
Microwave: Ku-band: 13.8GHz
Earth Topics
Land ( Topography/Mapping ), Snow and Ice ( Sea Ice ), Ocean and Coast ( Ocean Currents and Topography , Ocean Waves ), Solid Earth ( Geoid )
Related Instruments
Available Resources Type Access
ERS-2 OPR Product Validation Report Product Document order
ERS-1 ALT Products CCT format Specifications Product Document link
Altimeter & Microwave Radiometer ERS Products User Manual User Guide download
Satellite Data in Hydrology - Experience with ERS Special Publication order
Minimize Latest Mission Operations News

Reprocessed ESA ERS Altimetry (REAPER) dataset now available

11 September 2014

The full-mission reprocessing of the ESA ERS Radar Altimetry (RA) Level 2 data has been completed and the new dataset is now available online to the ESA Earth Observation user community.