REAPER: Reprocessing 12 Years of ERS-1 and ERS-2 Altimeters and Microwave Radiometer Data

David J. Brockley, Steven Baker, Pierre Femenias, Bernat Martinez, Franz Heinrich Massmann, Michiel Otten, Frederic Paul, Bruno Picard, Pierre Prandi, Monica Roca, Sergei Rudenko, Remko Scharroo, Pieter Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Twelve years (1991-2003) of ERS-1 and ERS-2 altimetry data have been reprocessed within the European Space Agency (ESA) reprocessing altimeter products for ERS (REAPER) project using an updated, modern set of algorithms and auxiliary models. The reprocessed data set (identified as RP01) has been cross-calibrated against the reprocessed ENVISAT V2.1 data. The format of this reprocessed data set is network common data form (version 3). The new data set shows a clear improvement in data quality beyond that of previous releases. The product validation shows reduction of the mean standard deviation of the sea-surface height differences from 8.1 (previously available product) to 6.7 cm (RP01). This paper presents the details of how the reprocessing was conducted and shows selected results from the validation and quality-assurance processes. The major improvements of the REAPER RP01 data set with respect to the previous ESA ERS radar altimetry (RA) products are due to the use of four ENVISAT RA-2 retrackers, RA calibration improvements, new reprocessed precise orbit solutions, ECMWF ERA-interim model for meteorological corrections, new ionospheric corrections, and new sea state. The intent of this paper is to aid the reader in understanding the benefits of the new data set for their particular use-case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 5506 - 5514
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Altimetry
  • Calibration
  • Erbium
  • Europe
  • European remote sensing (ERS)
  • microwave radiometer (MWR).
  • Microwave radiometry
  • Orbits
  • Satellites


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