Determination of sea surface height from moving ships with dynamic corrections
With the growing global efforts to estimate the influence of civilization on the climate change it would be desirable to survey sea surface heights (SSH) not only by remote sensing techniques like satellite altimetry or (GNSS) Global Navigation Satellite System reflectometry but also by direct and in-situ measurements in the open ocean. In recent years different groups attempted to determine SSH by ship-based GNSS observations. Due to recent advances in kinematic GNSS (PPP) Precise Point Positioning analysis it is already possible to derive GNSS antenna heights with a quality of a few centimeters. Therefore it is foreseeable that this technique will be used more intensively in the future, with obvious advantages in sea positioning. For the determination of actual SSH from GNSS-derived antenna heights aboard seagoing vessels some essential hydrostatic and hydrodynamic corrections must be considered in addition to ocean dynamics and related corrections. Systematic influences of ship dynamics were intensively analyzed and sophisticated techniques were developed at the Jade University during the last decades to precisely estimate mandatory corrections. In this paper we will describe the required analyses and demonstrate their application by presenting a case study from an experiment on a cruise vessel carried out in March 2011 in the Atlantic Ocean.