Cryosat 4 Plus

This proposal responds to the “Cryosat Plus” ITT under the ESA Support To Science Element Programme, addressing the Ocean Theme.

The ESA Cryosat mission is the first space mission to carry a radar altimeter that can operate in a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode. Although the Cryosat mission is dedicated to the monitoring of land and marine ice, the SAR mode altimeter also offers significant potential benefits in ocean applications, based on the demonstrated performance enhancements which include improved precision and higher along track resolution.

The general objectives of the CP4O Technical Proposal are to:

  •   Build a sound scientific basis for new scientific and operational applications of Cryosat data over the open ocean, polar      ocean, coastal seas, and in sea-floor altimetry.
  •   Generate and evaluate new retrieval methods and products that will fully exploit the new technology of the Cryosat  altimeter and extend the application beyond the initial mission objectives.
  •   Ensure that the scientific return of the Cryosat mission is maximized.
DTU participate on demonstrating the value of Cryosat-2 for

Sea-Floor Altimetry:

The potential offered by the higher resolution and improved Signal to Noise Ratio of Cryosat SAR Mode data to resolve short-wavelength sea surface signals caused by sea-floor topography elements and to map uncharted sea- mounts/trenches.

Polar Ocean Altimetry:

The application and evaluation og Cryosat SAR Mode data in the following applications:

Generation of Mean Sea Surface and Mean Dynamic Topography (through the use of the GOCE geoid model) and subsequent analysis of key polar ocean circulation features

  • Improvements of polar tide models
  • Investigations into the coupling between wind forcing and polar current patterns
  • Potential of Cryosat data to support investigations into critical Climate Change issues in the polar oceans such as ice-melting effects on circulation and sea-level rise


Ole Baltazar Andersen
DTU Space
+45 45 25 97 54