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Journal Articles The Cryosphere Year : 2020

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

Erik Andersson
  • Function : Author
Cristina Martin-Puig
  • Function : Author
Ole Andersen
  • Function : Author
Annett Bartsch
  • Function : Author
Sinead Farrell
  • Function : Author
Amandine Guillot
  • Function : Author
Angelika Humbert
  • Function : Author
Eero Rinne
  • Function : Author
Andrew Shepherd
  • Function : Author
Michiel R van den Broeke
  • Function : Author
John Yackel
  • Function : Author


The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) mission is one of six high-priority candidate missions (HPCMs) under consideration by the Euro-pean Commission to enlarge the Copernicus Space Component. Together, the high-priority candidate missions fill gaps in the measurement capability of the existing Coper-nicus Space Component to address emerging and urgent user requirements in relation to monitoring anthropogenic CO 2 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 Coperni-cus 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.
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hal-02997093 , version 1 (09-11-2020)



Michael Kern, Robert Cullen, Bruno Berruti, Jerome Bouffard, Tania Casal, et al.. The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) high-priority candidate mission. The Cryosphere, 2020, 14, pp.2235 - 2251. ⟨10.5194/tc-14-2235-2020⟩. ⟨hal-02997093⟩
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