Accuracy assessment and waveform analysis of CryoSat-2 SARIn mode data over Antarctica

Fang Wang, Jonathan L. Bamber, Shuangbao Yang, Xiao Cheng*, Shubin Liu, Youzhi Zhang, Yunping Chi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The new synthetic aperture radar interferometric (SARIn) measurement mode of CryoSat-2 provides better performance on the rough topography of the ice sheet margins than that of conventional radar altimetry. We assess the accuracy of CryoSat-2 SARIn mode data from Baseline C product of the European Space Agency (ESA), through comparison with two airborne laser altimeters on NASA IceBridge missions. The time difference between two compared data was limited to 30 days resulting in a reduction in the random error of ~0.3 m. We also assess the sensitivity of ESA retracker to surface slope, roughness and firn density using the mean waveform and retracked bin derived from CryoSat-2 Level 1B and Level 2i product. The ESA retracker appears to be sensitive to the surface slope and roughness according to the different leading edge shape and the retracked bin locations, however, not sensitive to the different firn density over four ice shelves. The modelled echo waveforms as SARIn are also used to analyse the impacts of surface characteristics (slope, roughness, and penetration depth) on echo waveform shape. It illustrates that the processes for ESA product fail to differentiate the changes in near-surface dielectric properties and determine radar-signal-penetration depth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8418-8431
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number22
Early online date30 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2019

Structured keywords

  • GlobalMass


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