Minimize Significant Wave Height

The Significant Wave Height (SWH) is the average wave height (from trough to crest) of the highest third (33.33%) of the waves in a given sample period.

The SENTINEL-3 mission is able to monitor wave heights from 0 to 20 m.

The SENTINEL-3 mission SWH goal accuracy is 4% (8 cm at 2 m SWH) for Near Real-Time (NRT) products and 1% (2 cm at 2 m SWH) for Slow Time Critical (STC products).

Figure 1: CRYOSAT SWH in (m), (a) and ENVISAT SWH in (m), (b), for December 2010.

The marine sea state (SWH or Hs) product is a critical product for all maritime safety and rescue operations.

Figure 2: SWH (m), wind speed (m/s) and sea level anomalies (cm) as observed by the different altimetry satellites (TOPEX, JASON-1, ERS-2, ENVISAT and GFO – GEOSAT Follow-On mission) during hurricane Katrina August 26-28 2005 (Credit: NOAA/Altimetrics LLC)