Role in the project

  • Prime contractor and study management
  • Project database and exploitation platform
  • OLCI analyses


ACRI-ST is an independent SME of the Space sector, specialised in the prototyping and engineering of EO data processors, data quality check systems, end-to-end and sensors’ simulations, calibration & validation, data processing, archiving and distribution:

  • Research and study activities related to numerical modelling and simulation of physical phenomena applied to environmental issues (ocean and atmosphere modelling, numerical fluid dynamics, geophysics, …);
  • Engineering activities for the specification, development and validation of data processing of Earth Observation systems and in particular end to end simulators, instrument simulators, ground processing prototypes and operational instrument processing facilities;
  • Operations in the frame of payload data ground segments, mission performance centres, collaborative exploitation platforms, etc

Role in the project

  • Technical lead for the altimetry mission
  • Analyses of SRAL and MWR
  • Altimetry product archive

CLS holds more than 25-year experience in environmental monitoring by remote sensing techniques. CLS has been acting continuously in Earth Observation (EO) projects providing services to French and European space agencies, CNES, ESA, EUMETSAT and European stakeholders like the European Union, through research programmes, FP5, 6, 7, H2020 and more recently through the operational Copernicus programme.

CLS has developed a particular expertise in the field of altimetry, being involved from the early design phases of ERS and TOPEX/Poseidon missions to the most recent altimetry missions like Sentinel-3 and the future Sentinel-6/Jason-CS and SWOT missions. CLS has been developing its altimetry expertise in space mission design, instrument processing, algorithm development, operational system development and operations, mission performance assessment and higher-level data design, production and dissemination.

Role in the project

  • Coordination of the Science Plan
  • Support on methodology aspects
  • SLSTR analyses


The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-leading centre in the development and application of highly accurate measurement techniques. As the UK’s national metrology institute, NPL has underpinned the national measurement system for more than 100 years, ensuring consistency and traceability of measurements throughout the UK (and many other institutes around the world). It ensures international equivalence of the SI through representation (as the UK delegates) in committees related to the meter convention and participation within formal comparisons. The results of these comparisons and peer reviewed “standard measurement capabilities” can be found at

NPL has led the collaboration between the Earth Observation and metrology communities. Building on the radiometric calibration of sources and detectors for satellite pre-flight calibration and for field vicarious calibration, NPL has opened a much broader conversation about bringing the concepts of metrology into Earth Observation. NPL has pioneered the “Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation” ( that is the basis of the CEOS WGCV thinking on satellite interoperability for the global Earth observation system of systems. NPL has been involved in many of the ESA-led initiatives to respond to QA4EO, including several of the Fiducial Reference Measurement programmes (FRM4STS, FRM4SOC, FRM4VEG) and the setting up of the RadCalNet network of instrumented (visible/SWIR) test sites. NPL’s Nigel Fox (Head of Earth Observation and science leader for the scientists involved in this project), is chair of the CEOS-WGCV IVOS subgroup.

Role in the project

  • Expertise on SLSTR
  • Support to SLSTR analyses

RAL Space is the STFC’s ‘Space Department’.  It is one of seven operational departments located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and is dedicated to supporting the programmes of the STFC, as well as undertaking many contracts for agencies, industry and other commercial customers. RAL Space provides world-leading research and technology development, space test facilities, instrument and mission design, and studies of science and technology requirements for new missions.

RAL Space were part of the core-team leading the development of the SLSTR instrument on the Sentinel-3 mission.  RAL Space were responsible for the pre-launch calibration of the instrument and were responsible for defining the overall instrument calibration plan, design and build of the test.

RAL Space lead the SLSTR ESL team for the MPC and responsible for the on-orbit calibration and validation activities.  For this study, RAL Space will bring in-depth knowledge of the instrument’s radiometric calibration and experience with handling the L0 and L1 data.

Role in the project:

  • Analyses of Ocean Colour products
  • Analyses of Sea State products

The National Oceanographic Center ( is the UK Government leading Marine Research Centre and is one of the world’s leading oceanographic centres. The NOC was formed in April 2010 by bringing together the NERC-managed activity at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and Liverpool’s Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. In addition to its world class interdisciplinary research, NOC provides long-term marine science capability including major facilities, sustained ocean observing, mapping and survey, data management, and national and international scientific advice.

The NOC contribution to S3 OLCI is led by Dr Stephanie Henson from the NOC Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems (OBE) group, which performs multidisciplinary research, studying ocean physics, chemistry and biology using modelling, instrumentation techniques and satellite data to understand ocean biogeochemistry and biodiversity. Stephanie leads an active research group in global biogeochemical oceanography and her research focuses on understanding the requirements for detecting climate change-driven trends in ocean productivity, quantifying physical processes that alter phytoplankton populations and subsequent impacts on the biological carbon pump.

The NOC contribution to S3 SRAL is led by Dr Christine Gommenginger from the NOC Satellite Oceanography team in the Marine Physics and Ocean Climate group. The NOC Satellite Oceanography team delivers scientific research, consultancy and training in many aspects of ocean remote sensing. It has long-standing expertise in satellite altimetry, where NOC scientists are taking a leading role in the development of SAR altimetry over oceans and the development of improved altimeter products in coastal and marginal seas.

Role in the project

  • Analyses of land ice topography products

Lancaster University provides expertise on Land Ice altimetry wihtin the Sentinel-3 tandem study.


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