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  • Author or Editor: Gérald Dibarboure x
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Clément Ubelmann, Gérald Dibarboure, and Pierre Dubois


The future Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission aims to observe water bodies and short-scale ocean surface topography with unprecedented spatial resolution and accuracy. However, the topography estimates will be contaminated by errors of various signals (geophysical and instrumental) featuring, in large part, strong dependencies on the radar range direction (cross track). This study shows that a cross-spectral analysis performed along track for all cross-track combinations can detect most of these errors and can provide estimates of their power spectral densities. From a series of outputs of the SWOT science team simulator, a cross-spectral method was developed to simulate the estimation of the error budget compared to the actual error budget in the simulator. The study determined that the error spectra of the dominant terms can be estimated at very high accuracy. Beyond the obvious applications for the future SWOT data calibration and validation, the spectral estimates of the error budget will have applications for state estimate problems using SWOT data.

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Maxime Ballarotta, Clément Ubelmann, Marine Rogé, Florent Fournier, Yannice Faugère, Gérald Dibarboure, Rosemary Morrow, and Nicolat Picot


The dynamic optimal interpolation (DOI) method merges altimetric sea surface height (SSH) data into maps that are continuous in time and space. Unlike the traditional linear optimal interpolation (LOI) method, DOI has the advantage of considering a nonlinear temporal propagation of the SSH field. DOI has been successfully applied to along-track pseudo-observations in observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs), demonstrating a reduction in interpolation error in highly turbulent regions compared to LOI mapping. In the present study, we further extend the validation of the DOI method by an observing system experiment (OSE). We applied and validated the DOI approach with real nadir-altimetric observations in four regional configurations. Overall, the qualitative and quantitative assessments of these realistic SSH maps confirm the higher level of performance of the DOI approach in turbulent regions. It is more of a challenge to outperform the conventional LOI mapping in coastal and low-energy regions. Validations against LOI maps distributed by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service indicate a 10%–15% increase in average performance and an improved resolution limit toward shorter wavelengths. The DOI method also shows improved mesoscale mapping of intense jets and fronts and reveals new eddies with smoother trajectories.

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