Minimize RA2

The RA-2 menu to your right provide information concerning the SPPA activities for this instrument. 


A brief description of the instrument, its operations and main mission highlights is available in the sections below:

  Sensor Description   |    Sensor Modes   |   Mission Operations Overview    

Minimize Sensor Modes

RA2 is a nadir looking pulse limited radar functioning at the main nominal frequency of 13.575 GHz (Ku band). A secondary channel at nominal frequency of 3.2 GHz (S band) is also operated to compensate the range error on altitude measurements caused by the propagation of the radar signals through the ionosphere. The main mode of instrument operation is the TRACKING mode. During this mode all instrument's units are powered-on and operative. The main task is the tracking of echo waveform which is executed without interruption.


The RA2 is provided with three different bandwidths (three different Ku resolutions):

  • 320 MHz, with resolution of 47 cm and tracking window width of 61 m
  • 80 MHz, with resolution of 190 cm and tracking window width of 243 m
  • 20 MHz, with resolution of 750 cm and tracking window width of 960 m

Allowing the resolution to be adapted to different scenarios (ocean, ice, ice-sheet, sea ice and land). The change of resolution is done autonomously by the instrument.

RA2 operates also in a mode called Intermediate Frequency (IF) CALIBRATION mode with the aim of retrieving the shape of the IF Filter impulse response spectrum needed to compensate for the distortion on the RA-2 waveforms.


More details are available on this ESA bulletin.