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Ocean Topography and Cryosphere (OTC) Branch/ Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry (LSA)

The NOAA/STAR Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry (LSA) housed in the Ocean Topography and Cryosphere Branch specializes in the application of satellite altimetry to a broad array of climate and weather related issues, including global and regional sea level rise, coastal and open-ocean circulation, weather prediction — from hurricane intensity forecasting to El Niño and La Niña events -- and monitoring the changing state of the Arctic Ocean. LSA hosts the NOAA Jason Science Program, Sea Surface Height Science Team, and the Sea Ice and Polar Dynamics Science Team.

Sea Ice and Polar Dynamics Science Team
The Sea Ice Science Team is composed of participants from the STAR/SOCD Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, the U.S. National Ice Center, and external collaborators from academia. In addition to remote sensing research on sea ice characterization and applications development, the team is interested in other cryospheric topics including snow over sea ice and land, lake ice, icebergs, and ocean-ice shelf interaction. The team also contributes leadership and expertise to the international Arctic and Antarctic buoy programs and provides advice to NOAA, Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies on global cryospheric issues with particular focus on the development and implementation of strategies for the Arctic region. Sites include: National Ice Center, MASIE, and Sea Ice and Polar Dyanamics Site.
Sea Surface Height Team
Research activities of Sea Surface Height Science Team include monitoring and understanding sea level rise, creating near real time altimetry products, improving altimetric bathymetry, and developing new techniques for Delay-Doppler/SAR processing. The team analyzes/validates data from Jason-2 and Jason-3 radar altimeter missions, which will continue the 20 year global sea level record. Near real-time sea surface height, wave height, and wind speed are used to determining ocean currents, monitoring sea level, and assimilating into models to improve forecasts of El Niño and hurricane intensity. Other activities aim to develop the most accurate and complete global bathymetry dataset from altimeter and ship measurements.

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