Four days after its launch on 17 January, the Jason-3 high-precision ocean altimetry satellite is delivering its first sea surface height measurement data in near-real time for evaluation by engineers from the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), EUMETSAT, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and scientists from the international Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.
The data started to be acquired, processed in real time by CNES and products started to be delivered shortly after the successful completion of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) carried out by CNES. This performance is owed to the experience gained through the sustained partnership between CNES, EUMETSAT, NASA and NOAA.
During the ongoing calibration and validation of the satellite, carried out by CNES with the support of the other partners, EUMETSAT will conduct processing trials of the data received at the Usingen ground station.
To ensure consistency of the measurements and climate data records from the Jason orbit, Jason-3 will be cross-calibrated with Jason-2 before routine operations. As of the beginning of February, the two satellites will therefore be flying in a tandem configuration, one minute apart of each other.
Jason-3 will secure the continuity of the unique climate data record of the mean sea level initiated by Topex-Poseidon in 1992 and continued by Jason-1 and Jason-2.
Also, the Jason-3 measurements of ocean waves and ocean surface topography will be essential inputs to numerical forecasts of sea state and ocean currents and to other applications in the areas of marine meteorology and operational oceanography.
Jason-3 measurements will also be ingested by Numerical prediction models coupling the atmosphere and the oceans used for seasonal forecasting.
Materials provided by European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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