Ship-based measurements of sea surface topography
Article first published online: 5 JUN 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 11, June 2009
How to Cite
2009), Ship-based measurements of sea surface topography, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L11605, doi:10.1029/2009GL038324., , and (
- Issue published online: 5 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 5 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 27 APR 2009
- Manuscript Received: 24 MAR 2009
- radar gauge
 By equipping the research vessel Kilo Moana with a geodetic GPS receiver and a radar water level gauge, and using a kinematic GPS processing package, accurate 1 Hz estimates of the sea surface height were obtained. Geodetic positioning of ocean-platforms using only the GPS system cannot account for changes in the draft of the platform. This is especially problematic for ships, where changes in the load, speed and/or ocean density can change the ship's draft by 10s of centimeters. By installing a radar gauge this noise source can be removed from the estimates of the sea surface height. We envision that this technology could routinely provide high resolution information on the geoid, or the variation of the sea surface height, including sea-state, from an existing reference geoid.