SLR supports direct sensing of surface elevations

Radar Altimeter Calibration

Satellite paintingSLR provides direct, unambiguous measurement of altimeter satellite height and permits effective separation of altimeter system drift from long-period ocean topography changes at the sub-cm level. This calibration is essential for the measurement of global mean sea level changes of a few mm/yr. and the mapping of ice field topography used to estimate ice volume changes.

Monitoring Sea Level Change

Global Sea LevelSLR contributes to the monitoring of sea level change in two ways. First, by supplying tracking data for orbit determination, SLR assures excellent radial orbital knowledge of altimeter satellites. Second, by improving knowledge of mm/yr-level secular changes in the height of coastal observing sites, SLR helps to resolve ambiguities in the tide gauge record. The proper treatment of tide gauge data for global sea level monitoring requires correction for solid Earth elevation changes of the gauges, which are of the same magnitude in Europe and the US as the sea level change itself.

Measuring Changes In Ice and land Topography

Greenland ice SLR measurements provide orbital knowledge supporting the mapping of continental ice fields using space-based radar altimeters.