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Mapping Sea Surface Height Using New Concepts of Kinematic GNSS Instruments

Abstract : For over 25 years, satellite altimetry observations have provided invaluable information about sea-level variations, from Global Mean Sea-Level to regional meso-scale variability. However, this information remains difficult to extract in coastal areas, where the proximity to land and complex dynamics create complications that are not sufficiently accounted for in current models. Detailed knowledge of local hydrodynamics, as well as reliable sea-surface height measurements, is required to improve and validate altimetry measurements. New kinematic systems based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) have been developed to map the sea surface height in motion. We demonstrate the capacity of two of these systems, designed to measure the height at a centimetric level: (1) A GNSS floating carpet towed by boat (named CalNaGeo); and (2) a combination of GNSS antenna and acoustic altimeter (named Cyclopée) mounted on an unmanned surface vehicle (USV). We show that, at a fixed point, these instruments provide comparable accuracy to the best available tide gauge systems. When moving at up to 7 knots, the instrument velocity does not affect the sea surface height accuracy, and the two instruments agree at a cm-level.
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Clémence Chupin, Valérie Ballu, Laurent Testut, Yann-Treden Tranchant, Michel Calzas, et al.. Mapping Sea Surface Height Using New Concepts of Kinematic GNSS Instruments. Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2020, 12 (16), pp.2656. ⟨10.3390/rs12162656⟩. ⟨hal-02941779⟩

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