1 National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Geodynamics, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar-und Meeresforschung4 European Space Agency
After the successful launch of CryoSat-2 in April 2010, ESA has funded two validation campaigns (CryoSat Validation Experiment, CryoVEx) of the satellite in the Arctic regions in the spring of 2011 and 2012. The primary aim of the CryoVEx campaigns is to directly validate the measurements from CryoSat-2 by comparison to airborne and ground measurements. This is possible only through a major effort involving a large group of international partners. DTU Space has been involved in the CryoVEx campaigns with airborne activities since 2003. To validate the performance of the CryoSat-2 radar altimeter (SIRAL), the aircraft is equipped with an airborne version of the SIRAL altimeter (ASIRAS) together with a laser scanner. The campaigns are focused on five main validation sites: Devon ice cap (Canada), Austfonna ice cap (Svalbard), the EGIG line crossing the Greenland Ice Sheet, as well as the sea ice north of Alert and sea ice around Svalbard in the Fram Strait. Selected tracks were planned to match CryoSat-2 passes and a few of them were flown in formation flight with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Polar-5 carrying an EM-bird. This presentation summarizes the 2011-12 airborne campaigns in the Arctic region, and includes results of coincident CryoSat-2 (level 1b and 2) and airborne measurements.