Retracking of Jason-1 Data

We present the results of retracking 18 cycles (15 from the Jason-TOPEX collinear period) of Jason-1 data. We used the retracking method of Rodriguez which simultaneously solves for all relevant waveform parameters using a 26 Gaussian model of the altimeter point target response. We find significant differences from the Jason-1 Project retracking in the key parameters of range and significant wave height (SWH) in the second version of the Project SGDRs. The differences from the Jason-1 data have a strong dependence on off-nadir angle and some dependence on SWH. The dependence of range on SWH is what is called sea state bias. The retracking technique also estimates surface skewness. For Jason-1 with its very clean waveforms we make the first direct estimates of the skewness effect on altimeter data. We believe that the differences found here and thus in overall sea surface height are the result of the standard project processing using a single Gaussian approximation to the Point Target Response (PTR) and not solving simultaneously for off nadir angle. We believe that the relatively large sea state bias errors estimated empirically for Jason-1 during the cal/val phase result from sensitivity of quantities, particularly SWH, in project GDRs to off nadir angle. The TOPEX-Jason-1 bias can be determined only when a full retracking of Jason-1 is done for the collinear period.
Year of Publication
Marine Geodesy
Number of Pages