Towards a Seamless Transition from TOPEX/Poseidon to Jason-1
The Jason-1 verification phase has proven to be a unique and successful calibration experiment to quantify the agreement with its predecessor TOPEX/Poseidon. Although both missions have met prescribed error budgets, comparison of the mean and time-varying sea surface height profiles from near simultaneous observations derived from the missions\textquoteright Geophysical Data Records exhibit significant basin scale differences. Several suspected sources causing this disagreement are identified and improved upon, including (a) replacement of TOPEX and Jason project POE with enhanced orbits computed at GSFC within a consistent ITRF2000 terrestrial reference frame, (b) application of waveform retracking corrections to TOPEX significant wave height and sea surface heights, (c) resultant improved efficacy of the TOPEX sea state bias estimation from the value added sea surface height, and (d) estimation of Jason-1 sea state bias employing dual TOPEX/Jason crossover and collinear sea surface height residuals unique to the validation mission. The resultant mean sea surface height comparison shows improved agreement at better than 60 percent level of variance reduction with a standard deviation less then 0.5 cm.
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