|COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER||10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.92|
The Ocean Surface Topography Constellation: The Next 15 Years in Satellite Altimetry
Stan Wilson(1), François Parisot(2), Philippe Escudier(3), Jean-Louis Fellous(4), Jérôme Benveniste(5), Hans Bonekamp(6), Mark Drinkwater(7), Lee Fu(8), Gregg Jacobs(9), Mingsen Lin(10), Eric Lindstrom(11), Laury Miller(12), Rashmi Sharma(13), Eric Thouvenot(14)
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An overriding issue facing the altimetry community today is sustaining the present observational capability. In Europe and the U.S., this involves transitioning altimetry as a research endeavour within the R&D agencies into a sustained capability within their operational counterparts. Additionally, meeting operational and scientific objectives require multiple missions, namely, a constellation. Requirements for such a constellation in the near term include maintaining continuity of (1) the low-inclination Jason-class altimeter series to serve as a reference mission, and at the same time (2) altimeters on at least two, preferably three, satellites in complementary high-inclination orbits. The first is needed to address the role of the oceans in climate, while together they address mesoscale variability or ocean weather. For the longer term, capabilities are needed which feature denser sampling via the development and demonstration of new techniques, one example being wide-swath swath altimetry. Recognizing the need for coordination, the Ocean Surface Topography Virtual Constellation (OST VC) has been established to maximize synergy between the existing and near-term missions; this includes promoting a data policy that enables full and open sharing of data with timely access for all.
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This paper shall be cited as:
Wilson, S. & Co-Authors (2010). "The Ocean Surface Topography Constellation: The Next 15 Years in Satellite Altimetry" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.92
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