Altimetry data can be used to determine sea and lake surface height, significant wave height, surface wind speed, and sea ice height and thickness.
Altimetry applications, key variables and available products and timeliness applications
|Main applications||Products||Timeliness||Main variables|
|Real time operational oceanography
Operational wave forecasting
|Near Real Time (NRT)
(Sentinel-3 and 6)
Operational Geophysical Data Record (Jason-3)
|3 hours (Sentinel-3 and 6)
3-5 hours (Jason-3)
|Significant Wave Height (SWH)
Surface Wind Speed (WIND)
Sea Surface Height (SSH)
|Slow Time Critical (STC)
(Sentinel-3 and 6*)
|36 hours (Sentinel-6)
48 hours (Sentinel-3)
|More accurate Sea Surface Height (SSH)|
|Sea level monitoring
|Non Time Critical (NTC) (Sentinel-3 and 6)
Geophysical Data Record (Jason-2 and 3)
|30 days (Sentinel-3 and 6)
60 days (Jason-3)
|Most accurate Sea Surface Height (SSH)|
*equivalent to the interim geophysical data record
How to get altimetry data
Users need to be registered to get access to the altimetry products. To do this you need to use our Earth Observation Portal (EOP). To access the Earth Observation Portal (EOP) for the first time, users need to create an account. Once the account has been created, you can log in to view and modify your profile, service subscriptions and licence arrangements.
Altimetry products are available via:
- EUMETSAT Data Store, an online rolling archive with access via GUI and various APIs.
- Copernicus Online Data Access REProcessed (CODAREP), an online archive of data that has been reprocessed with http access.
- The Copernicus Data and Information Access Service (DIAS), WEkEO.
- Via our broadcast delivery system EUMETCast.
- By ordering from the EUMETSAT Data Centre.
- Via SFTP, EUMETCast, EUMETSAT Data Centre, GTS and NASA PO.DAAC
- Via EUMETCast, GTS and EUMETSAT Data Centre
- Jason-2 is no longer in operations. As such, historical data is only available via the EUMETSAT Data Centre.
Note: Not all products are available via all services. For clarity please see the Product Navigator, user support confluence and recent product news and notices. For any questions contact our User Service Helpdesk.
All Sentinel data products are distributed using a Sentinel-specific variation of the Standard Archive Format for Europe (SAFE) format specification. The information is contained in a single package, with objects encoded in NetCDF format.
Processing baselines & reports
Current Sentinel-3 altimetry processing baselines
Timeline and overview of the SRAL/MWR processing baselines.
Past Sentinel-3 altimetry processing baselines
Timeline and overview of previous SRAL/MWR processing baselines.
Sentinel-6 altimetry processing baselines
Timeline and overview of the POS-4 and AMR-C processing baselines of Sentinel-6.
Altimetry science studies
Sentinel-3 Altimetry GPD+ Wet Tropospheric Correction
Developing a service to improve the Copernicus Sentinel-3 SRAL/MWR Level-2 wet tropospheric correction (WTC).
Other Sentinel-3 services
Ocean colour services
Providing information on ocean living ecosystems, water quality and sediment dynamics.
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Sentinel-3 altimetry instruments
Three instruments are used for the altimetry mission to measure sea surface heights.