Cryosat+ Oceans: CP4O project pages

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CP4O (Cryosat Plus For Oceans)


ESA Web Story on CP4O Arctic Tidal Atlas available here


CP4O is a project funded under the ESA STSE (Support To Science Element) Programme to develop and evaluate ocean products from Cryosat-2 data. CNES are also providing funding to support CLS participation.

The general objectives of the “Cryosat Plus for Oceans” (CP4O) project are:

  • to build a sound scientific basis for new scientific and operational applications of Cryosat-2 data over the open ocean, polar ocean, coastal seas and for sea-floor mapping.
  • to generate and evaluate new methods and products that will enable the full exploitation of the capabilities of the Cryosat-2 SIRAL altimeter, and extend their application beyond the initial mission objectives.
  • to ensure that the scientific return of the Cryosat-2 mission is maximised.

Click on the links for a CP4O project brochure , the CP4O Main Contract Final Report, the CCN01 Final Report, and the CCN02 Final Report

In addition there are specific objectives under each of the four sub-themes as follows:

Theme 1: Open Ocean Altimetry

The application and evaluation of Cryosat-2 Low Rate Mode (LRM) data in the following applications:

  • Generation of Mean Sea Surface and Mean Dynamic Topography (through the use of the GOCE geoid model) and subsequent analysis of mesoscale and large scale ocean features (e.g. boundary currents, eddy kinetic energy)
  • Assessment of ocean wind speeds and wave heights, and their contribution to existing operational and research applications.
  • The improvements to Cryosat-2 data offered by application of specifically modelled ionospheric and wet troposphere models to provide accurate estimates of radar path delay

The application and evaluation of Cryosat-2 SAR Mode data:

  • Ability to detect short spatial scale open ocean features.
  • The improvement of CryoSat-2 Oceanographic products through the application of new SAR retracking schemes.
  • The application of the RDSAR technique to convert SAR Full Bit Rate data to LRM data and so to study the best method for ensuring continuity in Sentinel-3 ocean products from the coastal zone to the open ocean.

Theme 2: Polar Ocean Altimetry

To develop and evaluate processing schemes applicable to sea-ice affected regions, so that Cryosat-2 SAR Mode data can be used to study large scale polar ocean signals and so make a significant new contribution to in the following important applications:

  • Generation of Mean Sea Surface and Mean Dynamic Topography and subsequent analysis of key polar ocean circulation features
  • Improvements of polar tide models
  • Investigations into the coupling between wind forcing and polar current patterns.
  • Support investigations into critical Climate Change issues in the polar oceans such as ice-melting effects on circulation and sea-level rise.

Theme 3: Coastal Zone Altimetry

The exploitation of Cryosat-2 SAR Mode data in the Coastal Ocean to demonstrate their finer spatial resolution, improved retrieval accuracy and lower sensitivity to land contamination, and so deliver high-quality altimeter measurements closer to the shore, to improve the estimation of coastal sea level changes, the detection of coastal features (coastal current jets, coastal wave set up, coastal tides) and the characterisation of inshore wave conditions.

The demonstration of the potential of Cryosat-2 SARIn mode data to help discriminate and mitigate land contamination signals from off-nadir land targets (e.g. steep cliffs) in SAR and LRM waveforms over coastal regions.

Theme 4: Sea-Floor Altimetry

The potential offered by the higher resolution and improved Signal to Noise Ratio of Cryosat-2 SAR Mode data to resolve short-wavelength sea surface signals caused by sea-floor topography elements and to map uncharted sea- mounts/trenches.

Satellite Oceanographic Consultants Ltd 2012