The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) high-priority candidate mission

Kern, Michael; Cullen, Robert; Berruti, Bruno; Bouffard, Jerome; Casal, Tania; Drinkwater, Mark R.; Gabriele, Antonio; Lecuyot, Arnaud; Ludwig, Michael; Midthassel, Rolv; Navas Traver, Ignacio; Parrinello, Tommaso; Ressler, Gerhard; Andersson, Erik; Martin-Puig, Cristina; Andersen, Ole; Bartsch, Annett; Farrell, Sinead; Fleury, Sara; Gascoin, Simon; Guillot, Amandine; Humbert, Angelika; Rinne, Eero; Shepherd, Andrew; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Yackel, John

The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) mission is one of six high-priority candidate missions (HPCMs) under consideration by the European Commission to enlarge the Copernicus Space Component. Together, the high-priority candidate missions fill gaps in the measurement capability of the existing Copernicus Space Component to address emerging and urgent user requirements in relation to monitoring anthropogenic inline-formulaCO2 emissions, polar environments, and land surfaces. The ambition is to enlarge the Copernicus Space Component with the high-priority candidate missions in the mid-2020s to provide enhanced continuity of services in synergy with the next generation of the existing Copernicus Sentinel missions. CRISTAL will carry a dual-frequency synthetic-aperture radar altimeter as its primary payload for measuring surface height and a passive microwave radiometer to support atmospheric corrections and surface-type classification. The altimeter will have interferometric capabilities at Ku-band for improved ground resolution and a second (non-interferometric) Ka-band frequency to provide information on snow layer properties. This paper outlines the user consultations that have supported expansion of the Copernicus Space Component to include the high-priority candidate missions, describes the primary and secondary objectives of the CRISTAL mission, identifies the key contributions the CRISTAL mission will make, and presents a concept – as far as it is already defined – for the mission payload.



Kern, Michael / Cullen, Robert / Berruti, Bruno / et al: The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) high-priority candidate mission. 2020. Copernicus Publications.


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