EGU24-19918, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

CryoSat Mission: CalVal, Science and International Cooperation Activities

Alessandro Di Bella and Tommaso Parrinello
Alessandro Di Bella and Tommaso Parrinello
  • European Space Agency, ESRIN, Frascati, Italy (

Launched in 2010, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) CryoSat mission was the first polar-orbiting satellite flying a SAR Interferometric altimeter dedicated to the cryosphere, with the objectives to monitor precise changes in the thickness of polar ice sheets and floating sea ice. After 14 years in orbit, CryoSat remains one of the most innovative radar altimeters in space and continues to deliver high-quality data, providing unique contributions to several Earth Science and application domains. The mission has been extended until the end of 2025 with the scope to achieve important scientific objectives and to extend the synergy with other missions by further strengthening international cooperation.

Routine CalVal activities are fundamental to evaluate the accuracy of CryoSat measurements, to monitor the long-term stability of the altimeter, and to characterise uncertainties on the final geophysical retrievals. In this talk, we present the CryoSat mission status and show results from some of the several CalVal activities currently in place, e.g., acquisition over transponders, comparison of sea level at tide gauges and exploitation of data collected during polar field campaigns. We also highlight the importance of international cooperation in CalVal and Science activities from the perspective of the ESA-NASA CRYO2ICE campaign, aligning CryoSat orbit to the one of ICESat-2, and the Sea Ice Thickness Intercomparison Exercise (SIN’XS) project, aiming to provide reconciled sea ice thickness estimates in both hemispheres. Finally, we discuss how current and future CryoSat activities are crucial to prepare for the upcoming Copernicus CRISTAL mission which will provide coincident measurements at Ka and Ku bands.

How to cite: Di Bella, A. and Parrinello, T.: CryoSat Mission: CalVal, Science and International Cooperation Activities, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19918,, 2024.