An airborne demonstrator for the CRISTAL mission

Plane used in an airborne campaign. © DTU

The CRISTALair project will design, develop and commission an airborne demonstrator to assist the CRISTAL mission. It will be composed by:

  • An interferometric altimeter instrument operating in Ku- and Ka-band simultaneously

  • A laser scanner

  • A colour-infrared digital camera

Furthermore, the system will include a L1 processor to generate the L1 products in a format compliant with CRISTAL GPP L1 Product Format Specifications, so that the CRISTAL L2 GPPs can be further validated. Finally, one campaign over areas with sea ice and land ice will collect experimental data to validate the CRISTALair function and performance.

The final output product of this project, understood as the full data acquisition system plus its specific ground processors, already validated with dedicated data analysis tools and calibration activities, will be ready to operate to bridge the potential gap between CryoSat-2 and CRISTAL operations, and will also provide valuable in-situ data for CRISTAL preparation activities.

isardSAT will be responsible for the design, development, implementation, and validation of the CRISTALair processor.


IsardSAT, MetaSensing, National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).




altimetry, external calibration, snow / ice