The BBC's Climate change: Satellite fix safeguards Antarctic data explains that earlier problems of missing data near the coasts have been addressed, and though scientists are hopeful, there is lingering concern:
Sentinel-3's data still needs work where the terrain is steeply sloping - at the edges of Antarctica and along its peninsula - but in its first elevation map of the continent, the satellite is capturing the key areas of mass loss in the western ice sheet.
"Around Pine Island and Thwaites, it's clearly picking out the main signals of dynamic imbalance. These are the hotspots of thinning. So, it's seeing the important stuff," said Dr McMillan.
"The peninsula has always been difficult for radar altimeters, just because of the size of the radar footprint versus the size of the glaciers. But I think this is something that will evolve.
"It's easy to forget the Sentinel-3 mission is new and it's likely that as more people work on its data with new approaches - it will be possible to extract more information."
The article then explains the superiority of the Cryosat radar altimeter for these areas especially:
The question for the European Union and its technical partner, the European Space Agency, is whether they could do even better?
The Cryosat spacecraft - as its name suggests - is a specialised ice-monitoring satellite. It was an experiment with dual-antenna technology that outperforms all other radar altimeters in those hard-to-sense mountainous locations.
"Ground processing can be upgraded after launch, but not the altimeter itself," commented Dr Amandine Guillot from the French space agency (Cnes)
"That's why, for example, the Sentinel-3 altimeter is not able to retrieve as much data as Cryosat over the coastal zone of Antarctica.
"That is why the Cristal mission, which has the primary objective of ice monitoring, has a real added-value with respect to the Sentinel-3 mission."
THE QUESTION: What is it exactly about Cryosat's "dual antenna interferometer that can better discern steep slopes" of Antarctic ice than Sentinel-3's radar?
Artwork: Cryosat has a dual antenna interferometer that can better discern steep slopes. ESA