BackForward Satellite: CRISTAL-A 

Satellite details
Full name Copernicus polaR Ice and Snow Topography ALtimeter-A
WIGOS Station Identifier ---
Satellite Description
  • First of the high-priority Copernicus Sentinel Expansion Missions for the cryosphere.
  • Mission: to measure and monitor sea-ice thickness and overlying snow depth.
  • To operate in a constellation of (initially two) identical satellites, covering a period > 7 years.
  • For more details, see
Mass at launch Dry mass
Data access link no link provided
Data access information
Orbit Drifting orbit Altitude 717 km
Inclination 92 °


Status Planned
Details on Status
(as available)
  • The Qualification Acceptance Review (QAR) is currently planned for Q2 2027.
Launch ≥2028 EOL ≥2034
Last update: 2023-11-15
Associated satellite programme and related satellites

Note: red tag: no longer operational , green tag: operational , blue tag : future

Satellite Payload

All known Instruments flying on CRISTAL-A

Acronym Full name
IRIS Interferometric Radar altimeter for Ice and Snow
AMR-CR Advanced Microwave Radiometer - CR
LRR Laser Retro-Reflector
GPS GPS Receiver
HRMR High Resolution Microwave Radiometer
Show instrument status and calibration
Satellite frequencies for Earth Observation, data transfer and platform communications and control
Earth observation MW frequencies
Service Sensing mode Frequency (GHz) Bandwidth (MHz) Polarisation Comments
IRIS (CRISTAL) active 13.5 GHz 500 MHz linear Altimeter band
IRIS (CRISTAL) active 35.75 GHz 500 MHz linear Altimeter band
AMR-CR passive 18.7 GHz 200 MHz linear
AMR-CR passive 23.8 GHz 400 MHz linear
AMR-CR passive 34 GHz 700 MHz linear
HRMR passive 90 GHz 5000 MHz linear High frequency window channel
HRMR passive 130 GHz 5000 MHz linear High frequency window channel
HRMR passive 168 GHz 5000 MHz linear High frequency water vapour channel