Monitoring the polar regions has been recently identified as a priority for the evolution of the Copernicus Space Component. In this context, the “Copernicus Polar and Snow Cover Applications User Requirements Workshop” was held in June 2016. User requirements, gaps and several mission concepts, meeting the most relevant requirements were discussed.
Thereafter, the European Commission set up a group of European Polar and Snow Experts (Polar Experts Group or PEG) to review and refine the Copernicus Core User Requirements. Two reports have been produced: PEG-1 and PEG-2 (see link below). The work has been performed following two phases. The first phase consisted in identifying the user requirements in several cryosphere domains and prioritizing them in terms of parameters and/or products and services. In phase 2, the Expert Group has been extended to space experts from ESA and EUMETSAT. In this phase, space instrument concepts meeting the specified parameter performance requirements for Polar and Snow Monitoring in the context of Copernicus Expansion Mission, have been analyzed. Three instrument concepts have been identified: A dual-frequency SAR interferometer altimeter (ie: CRISTAL Mission), a Passive Microwave Imaging Multi-Spectral Radiometer and a SAR Imager.
The present study deals with the assessment and consolidation of the requirements related to a polar ice and ocean topography mission with dual-frequency SAR interferometry supporting snow observations. This mission is based on the experience gained from the different altimetry missions such as Saral/AltiKa, Cryosat-2 and Sentinel-3 A/B, Sentinel-6.
The project follows a clear sequential logic, and is comprised of three main work packages:
- WP1: Review of the state of the art and analysis of user requirements in the context of the Earth Observing System at the date of the mission 2025-2030
- WP2: Assessment and consolidation of the CRISTAL mission requirements & observation system, allowing to reach user requirements defined in WP1.
- WP3: Performance analysis from numerical simulation to assess the potential of this mission and confirm assumptions and preliminary mission requirements. In particular, simulations will focus on coupling a snow model with an altimetry simulator to analyse snow depth retrieval from Ku- and Ka-band observations
- An additional study was made (Contract Change Notice – CCN) to study the possibility of new orbit candidates for CRISTAL. These potential new candidates, and the already existing ones, were evaluated with regards to their capacity to fulfill mission requirements.
The main results will be reported in an executive summary, so that ESA will be able to use, publish or communicate the outcomes of the study in a synthetic form. The final objective of this study is to consolidate the mission observation concept and refined the futur potential ground segment (L1/L2 products & algorithms employed).
Duchossois G., P. Strobl, V. Toumazou, S. Antunes, A. Bartsch, T. Diehl, F. Dinessen, P. Eriksson, G. Garric, M-N. Houssais, M. Jindrova, J. Muñoz-Sabater, T. Nagler, O. Nordbeck, User Requirements for a Copernicus Polar Mission – Phase 1 Report, EUR 29144 EN , Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-80961-3, doi:10.2760/22832, JRC111067
Duchossois G., P. Strobl, V. Toumazou, S. Antunes, A. Bartsch, T. Diehl, F. Dinessen, P. Eriksson, G. Garric, K. Holmlund, M-N. Houssais, M. Jindrova, M. Kern, J. Muñoz-Sabater, T. Nagler, O. Nordbeck, E. de Witte, User Requirements for a Copernicus Polar Mission – Phase 2 Report, EUR 29144 EN , Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-80960-6, doi:10.2760/44170, JRC111068
These two reports are also available from the cimr.eu / Ressources / Documents page.
The reports were edited in spring and summer 2017, and are now released as JRC Technical Reports with ISBN and doi.