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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-250
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-250
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

CryoSat Ice Baseline-D Validation and Evolutions

Marco Meloni1, Jerome Bouffard2, Tommaso Parrinello2, Geoffrey Dawson3, Florent Garnier4, Veit Helm6, Alessandro Di Bella5, Stefan Hendricks6, Robert Ricker6, Erica Webb7, Ben Wright7, Karina Nielsen5, Sanggyun Lee9, Marcello Passaro10, Michele Scagliola8, Sebastian Bjerregaard Simonsen5, Louise Sandberg Sørensen5, David Brockley9, Steven Baker9, Sara Fleury4, Jonathan Bamber3, Luca Maestri8, Henriette Skourup5, René Forsberg5, and Loretta Mizzi11 Marco Meloni et al.
  • 1Serco c/o ESA, Earth Observation Directorate, Via Galileo Galilei, 2 –00044 Frascati, Italy
  • 2ESA (European Space Agency), Earth Observation Directorate, Via Galileo Galilei, 2 – 00044 Frascati, Italy
  • 3Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 4LEGOS, University of Toulouse, CNRS, IRD, CNES, UPS, (Toulouse), France
  • 5DTU Space, National Space Institute, Department of Geodynamics, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
  • 6Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Klussmanstr. 3D, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 7Telespazio VEGA UK Ltd., 350 Capability Green, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3LU, UK
  • 8Aresys S.r.l., via Privata Flumendosa, 16, 20132, Milan, Italy
  • 9University College London at The Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St Mary, RH5 6NT, UK
  • 10Deutsches Geodatisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI/TUM), Munchen, Germany
  • 11Telespazio, Via Tiburtina, 965, 00156 Rome, Italy

Abstract. The ESA Earth Explorer CryoSat-2 was launched on 8 April 2010 to monitor the precise changes in the thickness of terrestrial ice sheets and marine floating ice. For that, CryoSat orbits the planet at an altitude of around 720 km with a retrograde orbit inclination of 92° and a quasi repeat cycle of 369 days (30 days sub-cycle). To reach the mission goals, the CryoSat products have to meet the highest quality standards to date, achieved through continual improvements of the operational processing chains. The new CryoSat Ice Baseline-D, in operation since 27th May 2019, represents a major processor upgrade with respect to the previous Ice Baseline-C. Over land ice the new Baseline-D provides better results with respect to previous baseline when comparing the data to a reference elevation model over the Austfonna ice cap region, improving the ascending and descending crossover statistics from 1.9 m to 0.1 m. The improved processing of the star tracker measurements implemented in Baseline-D has led to a reduction of the standard deviation of the point-to-point comparison with the previous star tracker processing method implemented in Baseline-C from 3.8 m to 3.7 m. Over sea ice, the Baseline-D improves the quality of the retrieved heights in areas up to ~ 12 km inside the Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric (SARIn or SIN) acquisition mask, which is beneficial not only for freeboard retrieval, but for any application that exploits the phase information from SARIn Level-1 (L1) products. In addition, scatter comparisons with the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project (BGEP, https://www.whoi.edu/beaufortgyre) and Operation IceBridge (OIB, Kurtz et al., 2013) in-situ measurements confirm the improvements in the Baseline-D freeboard product quality. Relative to OIB, the Baseline-D freeboard mean bias is reduced by about 8 cm, which roughly corresponds to a 60 % decrease with respect to Baseline-C. The BGEP data indicate a similar tendency with a mean draft bias lowered from 0.85 m to −0.14 m. For the two in-situ datasets, the Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) is also well reduced from 14 cm to 11 cm for OIB and with a factor 2 for BGEP. Observations over inland waters, show a slight increase in the percentage of good observations in Baseline-D, generally around 5–10 % for most lakes. This paper provides an overview of the new Level-1 and Level-2 (L2) CryoSat ice Baseline-D evolutions and related data quality assessment, based on results obtained from analysing the 6-month Baseline-D test dataset released to CryoSat expert users prior the final transfer to operations.

Marco Meloni et al.
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Short summary
This manuscript aims to describe the evolutions which have been implemented in the new CryoSat Ice Processing Chain Baseline-D and the validation activities carried out in different domains such as Sea-Ice, Land-Ice and Hydrology. This new CryoSat processing Baseline-D will maximise the uptake and use of CryoSat data by scientific users since it offers improved capability for monitoring the complex and multi-scale changes over the Cryosphere.
This manuscript aims to describe the evolutions which have been implemented in the new CryoSat...
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