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Open AccessArticle

Validation of Sentinel-3A/3B Satellite Altimetry Wave Heights with Buoy and Jason-3 Data

The First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources of China, Qingdao 266061, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(13), 2914;
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Remote Sensing in Environmental Monitoring)
The validation of significant wave height (SWH) data measured by the Sentinel-3A/3B SAR Altimeter (SRAL) is essential for the application of the data in ocean wave monitoring, forecasting and wave climate studies. Sentinel-3A/3B SWH data are validated by comparisons with U. S. National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) buoys, using a spatial scale of 25 km and a temporal scale of 30 min, and with Jason-3 data at their crossovers, using a time difference of less than 30 min. The comparisons with NDBC buoy data show that the root-mean-square error (RMSE) of Sentinel-3A SWH is 0.30 m, and that of Sentinel-3B is no more than 0.31 m. The pseudo-Low-Resolution Mode (PLRM) SWH is slightly better than that of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode. The statistical analysis of Sentinel-3A/3B SWH in the bin of 0.5 m wave height shows that the accuracy of Sentinel-3A/3B SWH data decreases with increasing wave height. The analysis of the monthly biases and RMSEs of Sentinel-3A SWH shows that Sentinel-3A SWH are stable and have a slight upward trend with time. The comparisons with Jason-3 data show that SWH of Sentinel-3A and Jason-3 are consistent in the global ocean. Finally, the piecewise calibration functions are given for the calibration of Sentinel-3A/3B SWH. The results of the study show that Sentinel-3A/3B SWH data have high accuracy and remain stable. View Full-Text
Keywords: SentinEl-3A; Sentinel-3B; SRAL; significant wave height; data validation SentinEl-3A; Sentinel-3B; SRAL; significant wave height; data validation
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Yang, J.; Zhang, J. Validation of Sentinel-3A/3B Satellite Altimetry Wave Heights with Buoy and Jason-3 Data. Sensors 2019, 19, 2914.

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