ECMWF Experience in Global Monitoring and Validation of Radar Altimetry Products
Janssen, Peter; Abdalla, Saleh; Alonso Balmaseda, Magdalena; Mogensen, Kristian; Bidlot, Jean-Raymond; Keeley, Sarah

ECMWF is a world leader in the numerical weather prediction (NWP) field using the Integrated Forecast System (IFS) which is a comprehensive atmospheric forecasting-system software simulating the dynamics, thermodynamics and composition of the Earth's fluid envelope and interacting parts of the Earth-system. The system includes WAM which is a third generation ocean wave prediction model and NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) which is a software for numerical simulation of the ocean including ocean circulation and sea ice. IFS provides a wealth of global data that can be used for the geophysical validation of various satellite products. Furthermore, ECMWF receives and archives a wide range of in situ observations that are received in near real time. Such data products are also used for the cal/val activities.

ECMWF has a long history in calibration, validation and monitoring of wind, wave and water vapour products from various Altimeter and Microwave instruments. It contributed to the cal/val efforts for the past and current missions including: ERS-1/2, Envisat, Jason-2, Cryosat Altimetry missions with plans to support such activities for the future missions including: Sentinel-3, AltiKa and Jason-3 missions. With the formation of the Marine Aspects Section, the capabilities of monitoring and validation of sea-surface height anomaly (which is being done for some time now) and sea-ice freeboard are added to the list of products that can be handled within the team.

The experience of ECMWF regarding the cal/val activities of the global significant wave height, surface wind speed, water vapour content, sea-surface height anomaly and (potentially) sea-ice freeboard will be summarised. The potential of routing this experience into the cal/cal activities of Sentinel-3 will be discussed.