THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - RA-2 -
Full Name Radar Altimeter - 2 Status No longer operational
Instrument Agencies ESA Maturity
Instrument Type Radar altimeters Geometry
Instrument Technology Radar altimeter Sampling Imaging
Data Access Open Access Data Format
Measurements and Applications Measures wind speed, significant wave height, sea surface elevation, ice profile, land and ice topography, and sea ice boundaries.
Resolution Summary
Swath Summary
Accuracy Summary Altitude: better than 4.5 cm, Wave height: better than 5% or 0.25 m
Waveband Summary Microwave: 13.575 GHz (Ku-Band) and 3.2 GHz (S-Band)
MW (~1.0 cm - ~100 cm)
Ku-Band (12.5 to 18 GHz)
S-Band (4 - 2 GHz)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
Atmospheric Humidity FieldsAtmospheric specific humidity (TC) 
Gravity, Magnetic and Geodynamic measurementsGeoid 
Ice sheet topographySea-ice sheet topography 
Landscape topographyLand surface topography 
Ocean surface windsWind speed over sea surface (horizontal) 
Ocean topography/currentsSea level 
Ocean dynamic topography 
Ocean wave height and spectrumSignificant wave height 
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice cover 
Sea-ice thickness 
Instrument Missions
Envisat - Environmental Satellite (2002 - 2012)
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