Minimize RA

The RA 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

The ERS-2 Radar Altimeter operates in 2 modes: ocean mode and ice mode. Beam width = 1.3 deg; foot print = 16 - 20 m (depending on sea state). RA-1 operates by timing the two-way delay for a short duration radio frequency pulse, transmitted vertically downwards. The required level of range measurement accuracy (better than 10 cm) calls for a pulse compression technique (chirp). The instrument employs frequency modulation and spectrum analysis of the pulse shape. RA-1 provides measurements leading to the determination of:

  •  Precise altitude (ocean surface elevation for the study of ocean currents, the tides and the global geoid)
  • Significant wave height
  • Ocean surface wind speed
  • Various ice parameters (surface topography, ice types, sea/ice boundaries)
More details in this ESA Bulletin