A computer program has been written to perform several analyses of radar altimeter data. The program was designed to improve on previous methods of analysis of altimeter engineering data by (1) facilitating and accelerating the analysis of large amounts of data in a more direct manner and (2) improving the ability to estimate performance of radar-altimeter instrumentation and provide data corrections. The data in question are openly available to the international scientific community and can be downloaded from anonymous file-transfer-protocol (FTP) locations that are accessible via links from altimetry Web sites. The software estimates noise in range measurements, estimates corrections for electromagnetic bias, and performs statistical analyses on various parameters for comparison of different altimeters. Whereas prior techniques used to perform similar analyses of altimeter range noise require comparison of data from repetitions of satellite ground tracks, the present software uses a high-pass filtering technique to obtain similar results from single satellite passes. Elimination of the requirement for repeat-track analysis facilitates the analysis of large amounts of satellite data to assess subtle variations in range noise.

This program was written by Doug Vandemark and David Hancock of Goddard Space Flight Center and Ngan Tran of Raytheon Co. For further information, contact Nona Cheeks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2004 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from the archives here.