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Jason 2

Also called OSTM (Ocean Surface Topography Mission)


Designation 33105 / 08032A
Launch date 20 Jun 2008
Country of origin France and United States
Mission Remote sensing
Perigee/Apogee 1336 km
Inclination 66°
Launch vehicle Delta 2 #334

Construction cost: EUR 40 million
Provides operational services in partnership with Eumetsat and NOAA.

The altimetry mission provides sea surface heights for determining ocean circulation, climate change and sea-level rise and have been instrumental in meeting NOAA's operational need for sea surface height measurements necessary for ocean modelling, forecasting El Niño/La Niña events and hurricane intensity prediction.

Jason 1 and 2 will fly in formation, making nearly simultaneous measurements for about six months to allow scientists to precisely calibrate Jason 2's instruments.

End of life

Out of service 10 Oct 2019
Cause Power production components required termination of the mission, orbit was lowered before desactivation

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Technical data


Prime contractor Alcatel Space
Platform Proteus
Mass at launch 506 kg
Mass in orbit  
Solar array  
Stabilization 3-axis
DC power 550 W
Design lifetime 3 to 5 years

The Proteus Hydrazine tank was modified to minize leak risks after NASA request.


Poseidon 3 altimeter (from CNES) measures height above sea surface (C- and Ku-band)

NASA Advanced Microwave Radiometer (AMR): 3-frequency radiometer measures total water vapor along altimeter path to correct for pulse delay

CNES Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) Doppler tracking antenna: receives ground signals for precise orbit determination, satellite tracking, and ionospheric correction data for the CNES altimeter

NASA Global Positioning System Payload (GPSP) receiver provides precise orbit ephemeris data

NASA Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) works with ground stations to track satellite and calibrate the other satellite location systems, and verify altimeter measurements.

Also carries the Light Particle Telescope (LPT) built by Jaxa. It weighs 7 kg. Will detect electrons, protons and alpha rays.

Telemetry downlink at 2215.92 MHz
Command uplink at 2040.49 MHz

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