Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA ships sensors for seafaring satellite to France

Date:
May 23, 2013
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Three NASA-built instruments that are integral components of the next in a series of U.S./European ocean altimetry satellites have arrived in France for integration with their spacecraft in preparation for a 2015 launch. Jason-3 will extend the two-decade series of satellites that are tracking global sea level changes and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts.

The three NASA-built instruments and associated ground support equipment for the U.S./European Jason-3 ocean altimetry satellite are removed from a Cargo Lux 747-800 transport plane in Luxembourg on May 21, 2013, following a transatlantic flight. The instruments left NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on May 19 and arrived at the Thales Alenia Space Integration Center in Cannes, France on May 22. There they will be integrated with the Jason-3 spacecraft and tested in preparation for a March 2015 California launch.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Three NASA-built instruments that are integral components of the next in a series of U.S./European ocean altimetry satellites have arrived in France for integration with their spacecraft in preparation for a 2015 launch. Jason-3 will extend the two-decade series of satellites that are tracking global sea level changes and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts.

The three instruments are a microwave radiometer and two location-finding systems, along with associated ground support equipment. They left NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on May 19 en route to Thales Alenia Space's Integration Center in Cannes, France, where they arrive on May 22. There, they will be integrated with the Jason-3 spacecraft and tested before being shipped back to California's Vandenberg Air Force Base for launch in March 2015. Thales Alenia Space is the Jason-3 spacecraft contractor for the French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES).

Jason-3 is designed to measure precisely the height of the ocean surface, allowing scientists to monitor ocean circulation and sea level. It will extend the long-term data set established by three previous satellite altimetry missions: Topex/Poseidon (1992-2006), Jason-1 (launched in 2001 and still in operation) and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 (launched in 2008 and also still in operation). Jason-3 is being developed and operated as part of an international effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) in collaboration with NASA and CNES. JPL built the three NASA instruments on behalf of NOAA.

Processed data from the satellite will be used in a broad range of applications, including improving our knowledge of global and regional sea level changes, operational ocean and weather forecasting, ocean wave modeling, hurricane intensification prediction, seasonal forecasting, El Nino and La Nina forecasting, and climate research. The data will help address key questions about global climate change.

Details of the three JPL-developed instruments include:

  • The Advanced Microwave Radiometer measures radiation from Earth's surface at three frequencies (18, 23 and 34 gigahertz) to determine the amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere. This water vapor affects the accuracy of altimeter measurements by delaying the time it takes for the altimeter's signals to make their round trip to the ocean surface and back.
  • The Global Positioning System Payload is a tracking system that enhances the location-tracking measurements of CNES' Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated by Satellite instrument aboard Jason-3. It uses triangulated data from the U.S. Global Positioning System constellation of navigation satellites to determine the satellite's precise position in orbit. Its data are used to continuously track the satellite's trajectory.
  • The Laser Retroreflector Array is an array of mirrors that allow the satellite to be tracked with centimeter accuracy by 40 satellite laser ranging stations on the ground. By analyzing the round-trip time of the laser beam, the satellite's precise position in orbit can be determined.

Covering more than two-thirds of Earth, the world's ocean plays a critical role in climate change. "Global warming is raising sea levels and reshaping our ocean," said Josh Willis, Jason-3 project scientist at JPL. "Jason-3 will measure our changing ocean and help us keep our finger on the pulse of Earth's climate."

For more information on Jason-3, visit: http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/jason3/ .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA ships sensors for seafaring satellite to France." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523091012.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2013, May 23). NASA ships sensors for seafaring satellite to France. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523091012.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA ships sensors for seafaring satellite to France." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523091012.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins