Jason-1 global statistical evaluation and performance assessment: Calibration and cross-calibration results

Since Jason-1 launch, extensive validation of Jason-1 data and cross-calibration relative to TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) have been performed by the CLS validation team within the CNES Jason-1 project. These validation activities are routinely operated as part of the Jason-1 ground segment, and often lead to in-depth studies to understand all validation conclusions. This paper presents the main results in terms of Jason-1 data quality: verification of data availability and validity, monitoring of the most relevant altimeter and radiometer parameters, assessment of the Jason-1 altimeter system performances. From global statistical analysis of more than 2 years of Jason-1 GDR data, results for all components of the altimeter measurement are derived in terms of bias, trend and precision. This work also represents a contribution to the estimation of the Jason-1 error budget. Thorough studies have been more focused on specific issues in relation to data quality: this is the case for the analysis of the high frequency content of the Jason-1 data and its impact on the T/P to Jason-1 comparison. From the results presented in this paper, it is demonstrated that the Jason-1 mission fulfils the requirements of high precision altimetry. In particular, it allows continuing the observation of the Mean Sea Level (MSL) variations at the same accuracy as T/P, which was one of the challenges of the Jason-1 mission. Potential improvements and open issues are also identified, with the objective of still making progress in terms of altimeter data quality.
Year of Publication
Marine Geodesy
Number of Pages