Jason-3 - monitoring the oceans from space
On February 12 Jason-3 reached its final orbit and the spacecraft is now flying in tandem with Jason-2.
Jason-3, which was successfully launched at 19:42 CET on Sunday 17 January 2016, will secure the continuity of high quality ocean altimetry measurements in support of climate monitoring, operational oceanography and seasonal forecasting.
This service, currently provided by the ageing Jason-2, provides measurements of sea surface height, wind speed at the ocean surface and sea state.
Highly accurate measurements of sea surface height are vital for monitoring mean sea level in our changing climate. They are also used in ocean forecasting models for operational oceanography, and for ocean-atmosphere models used for “seasonal forecasting”, i.e. to predict the likelihood of intense cyclonic seasons in the tropics, or a mild winter in the mid-latitudes.
Jason-3 is the result of an international partnership between EUMETSAT, the French Space Agency (CNES), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In addition, the European Union will fund operations of the Jason-3 satellite as a precursor to the future Copernicus Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission and as the reference mission for Sentinel-3.