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Accurate multi-sensor mapping system for ocean and land surfaces

A new airborne device has been developed which incorporates a multi-technique approach to map land and sea surface heights.

Climate Change and Environment

Current missions using satellites to map our global surface (European Remote sensing Satellite (ERS)-1 and ERS-2) have largely been unsuccessful over coastal and Polar Regions. The satellites are unable to map accurately in coastal regions where islands and tidal regions may distort height readings. In polar regions, sea ice has hindered satellite observations to gain true heights of the ocean and land surface. The airborne device holds many advantages over the satellite system that cannot recover the short and ultra-short waves (1-200km) of the Earth's gravity field. Where satellites are limited in this capacity, this device can perform the task accurately using its on-board sensors. The technology on-board is highly advanced and includes an accelerometer, laser and radar altimeter (measures altitude), global positioning system (GPS), inertial navigation system (INS)) for accurate mapping of sea and land surfaces. The airborne data collected by this device can be easily incorporated with satellite data if needed. First demonstration and full application projects show promising results.

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