Pulse-to-pulse correlation in satellite radar altimeters

Authors

  • Edward J. Walsh


Abstract

Pulse-to-pulse correlation in satellite radar altimeters is examined to determine if range jitter in future altimeters could be reduced by increasing the pulse repetition frequency (PRF). Data from the Skylab radar altimeter is analyzed and compared with rules of thumb and the results of a Monte Carlo simulation. Altimeter range tracker configurations are reviewed and a simple curve is developed for the PRF below which decorrelation is assured. An adaptive PRF for future altimeters is recommended to conserve mission power while optimizing data collection during high-sea states.

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