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Publication . Article . Other literature type . 2020

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; +21 Authors
Open Access
Published: 16 Jul 2020
Publisher: HAL CCSD

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 CO2 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.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:Environmental sciences lcsh:GE1-350 lcsh:Geology lcsh:QE1-996.5

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Copernicus Payload Altimeter Snow Component (UML) User requirements document Remote sensing Environmental science Microwave radiometer Radar altimeter law.invention law


[SDU.ENVI]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Continental interfaces, environment, [SDU.OCEAN]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Ocean, Atmosphere, Water Science and Technology, Earth-Surface Processes

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Funded by
The European network for observing our changing planet
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 689443
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERA-NET-Cofund
Validated by funder
Related to Research communities
SDSN - Greece Sustainable Development Projects : The European network for observing our changing planet