Altimetry Services

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.

Sentinel-3 Altimetry Services thumbnail

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.

 

Altimetry 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 altimetry products.

A full list of our ocean products can be found on our Ocean Products page.

Sentinel-3 SRAL Marine User Handbook

Timeline and Overview of the SRAL/MWR Processing Baselines

Product notices
Date in operations Processing Baseline version SRAL L1 product notice SRAL L2 product notice
28 Nov 2018 2.33 (S3A)/1.13 (S3B) Copernicus S3 Product Notice – Altimetry Sentinel-3 Product Notice – STM L2 Marine
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 (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1A Unpacked L0 Complex echos in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B in NRT - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B stack echoes in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Level 1B stack echoes in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
Corrected Sea Surface Height in NRT - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe
Corrected Sea Surface Height in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe
SRAL Altimetry Global in NRT - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Africa,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Altimetry Global in NTC - Sentinel-3 SRAL Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
SRAL Altimetry Global in STC - Sentinel-3 SRAL EUMETCast-Europe,
EUMETCast-Africa,
EUMETCast-Terrestrial,
Copernicus Online Data Access (CODA),
EUMETSAT Data Centre
 

How to get Altimetry data

Watch this video demonstration from our expert Bruno Lucas.

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:

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 on the Sentinel Formats page.

How to use Altimetry data

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

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

By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent for EUMETSAT to store certain information about you. To learn more about what information EUMETSAT collects and how it is used, please view our Terms of Use page.