From its highly inclined 1,336-kilometre orbit, Jason-3 covers 95% of the globe’s ice-free oceans every ten days. Planned to operate for three years with a possible extension to five years, it will assure the data continuity so vital to effective monitoring of global warming through to at least 2021, before being joined by two other satellites, Jason-CSA/Sentinel-6A and Jason-CSB/Sentinel-6B.
Developed by CNES and Thales Alenia Space, Jason-3 is built around a Proteus spacecraft bus. It is carrying a Poseidon-3B altimeter, the main mission instrument that measures the range from the satellite to the ocean surface, an advanced microwave radiometer (AMR) to measure emitted radiation, a CNESdesigned
DORIS orbit determination system, a GPS payload (GPSP) and a laser retroreflector array (LRA) developed by NASA/JPL. It is also carrying the CARMEN 3/AMBRE instrument supplied by CNES and the Light Particle Experiment supplied by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which will be tasked with characterizing the satellite’s radiation environment.