Altimetry

The dual-frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter (SRAL) on Sentinel-3 will provide sea surface topography measurements in SAR mode, with a spatial resolution as narrow as 300 m.

Thumbnail - Sentinel-3 Launch - Sea Level - 2

SRAL is supported by a microwave radiometer for atmospheric correction and by a DORIS receiver, Global Navigation Satellite System, and laser retroreflector to determine its position in space with pinpoint accuracy.

Altimetry data can be used to determine sea and lake surface height, significant wave height, surface wind speed, and sea ice height and thickness.

 

SRAL Products

The products will be available in:

  • Near-Real-Time (NRT): products shall be available to the users within three hours after sensing.
  • Short Time Critical (STC): products available to the users within 48 hours after sensing.
  • Non-Time-Critical (NTC): products available to the users within one month after sensing.

The second table below lists the current operational SRAL products. See the full list of Sentinel-3 marine products on our Ocean Products page.

Sentinel-3 SRAL Marine User Handbook

Product notices
Date in operations Processing Baseline version SRAL L1 product notice SRAL L2 product notice
4 April 2018 2.33 S3 Product Notice – Altimetry Sentinel-3A Product Notice – STM L2 Marine (NRT, STC and NTC)
14 February 2018 2.27 S3 Product Notice – Altimetry Sentinel-3A Product Notice – STM L2 Marine (NRT, STC and NTC)
13 December 2017 2.24 S3 Product Notice – Altimetry Sentinel-3A Product Notice – STM L2 Marine (NRT, STC and NTC)
12 April 2017 2.12 Sentinel-3A Product Notice – STM L1 Altimetry (NRT, STC and NTC) Sentinel-3A Product Notice – STM L2 Marine (NRT, STC and NTC)

Sentinel 3 PDGS File Naming Convention

Altimetry Products
Name Instrument Data Access
SRAL Level 1A Unpacked L0 Complex echos in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1A Unpacked L0 Complex echos in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B in NRT - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Satellite,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Satellite,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B stack echoes in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B stack echoes in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
Corrected Sea Surface Height in NRT - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Satellite
Corrected Sea Surface Height in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Satellite
SRAL Altimetry Global in NRT - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETCast-Africa,
EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Satellite,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Altimetry Global in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Altimetry Global in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access,
EUMETCast-Africa,
EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Satellite,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
EUMETSAT Data Centre
 

How to get SRAL data

Users need to be registered to get access to the SRAL 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.

SRAL products are available:

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.

Full details can be found in the Sentinel Formats section of the website.

How to use SRAL data

The Sentinel-3 Toolbox consists of a rich set of visualisation, analysis and processing tools for the exploitation of SRAL data.

The Sentinel-3 Altimetry User Guide on the ESA website provides a high level description of the available instrument modes and products.

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