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Overview

This website provides operational polar products from ESA earth observation satellites, processed at the NERC Center for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) in the U.K.

We specialise in processing data from ESA's dedicated earth explorer polar mission CryoSat and the new fleet of satellites from Europe's Copernicus programme such as Sentinel-1a.

CryoSat, a specialist radar altimetry mission was launched in April 2010 and was originally proposed by CPOM. It is dedicated to measuring changes in polar sea ice thickness and the mass balance of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Accurately measuring these is an essential part in understanding, monitoring and predicting climate change.

Sentinel-1a, which carries an advanced all weather imaging radar was launched in April 2014 and is the first satellite of Europe's new Copernicus programme which are delivering a wealth of data and imagery. During its first year of operations, the short 12 day imaging repeat period and large spatial coverage has delivered an invaluable new resource which is revolutionising our ability to monitor change in speed of the ice streams on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Europe's satellite monitoring capability will be improved even further with the launch of Sentinel-1b in April 2016. Combined, Sentinel-1a and b will provide the capability to image the earth every 6 days.


CPOM has played a leading role in the analysis, development and validation of CryoSat and Sentinel-1a data for sea ice and ice sheet research, and is now providing access to operational products from its specialist CryoSat and Sentinel-1 processors.

Latest News and Operational Status

17-Oct-2016 NRT sea ice thickness data available for new Autumn 2016 season.
23-Aug-2016 New ASCII sea ice 5km thickness product added. This is a complete (non-sparse) gridded product which is provide alongside the existing sparse grid.
11-May-2016 NRT Sea ice thickness updates suspended until September 2016. CryoSat is not able to measure sea ice thickness effectively during the Arctic summer due to melt ponds in the sea ice.
22-Apr-2016 Our new NRT Outlet Glacier Ice Velocity portal was launched today. It provides near real time maps of ice velocity from key glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland, produced from ESA's Sentinel-1a radar data.
04-Feb-2016 A minor update (v1.3) to the NRT Sea Ice product format document has been issued today.It contains an explanation of why negative sea ice thickness values can occur and a correction to the GeoTIFF format specification.
08-Jan-2016 NRT Sea Ice product updates suspended from 08-09 Jan 16 due to essential server maintenance.
23-Oct-2015 We have now completed our recalibration of the new ESA baseline for NRT sea ice thickness processing and have restarted operational NRT product delivery.
30-Sept-2015 CryoSat NRT Sea Ice thickness production is scheduled to resume shortly after 1st October 2015 following the Arctic summer break. Since the 2014/2015 Arctic winter season, ESA has upgraded their low level radar products from CryoSat to a new baseline which feeds in to our sea ice processing chain. This is currently being recalibrated with the new baseline, and hence the slight delay in releasing NRT products at the start of the 2015/2016 winter season.
20-July-2015 Archive and Volume data released. Final precise spring and autumn mean sea ice thickness maps and volume time series data from the archive (2010 - 2014) are released today at the sea ice operational section of the website.
22-May-2015 CryoSat NRT sea ice thickness production has now stopped for the Arctic summer (May to September). Thickness cannot be accurately measured from CryoSat during this period due to the formation of melt ponds on the sea ice surface, which interfere with the radar signal and measurement method. The service will return as soon as possible; likely to be 1st October 2015.
24-Apr-2015 28-Apr-15: Due to a baseline configuration problem within the ESA Cryosat ground segment, NRT sea ice thickness data covering the period 20-Apr-15 until 26-Apr-15 should be treated with caution.