By succeeding Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2, Jason-3 extends the high-precision ocean altimetry data record to support climate monitoring, operational oceanography and seasonal forecasting.
Jason-3 is the result of a joint effort by Cnes, Nasa, Eumetsat and Noaa, pursuing a heritage that has been keeping the oceans under close watch for more than 20 years. Partnership is as for Jason-2, but the operational agencies (Noaa and Eumetsat) take the lead; Cnes serves as the system coordinator and all partners -including Nasa- support science team activities.
By continuing long-term operational oceanography observations, Jason-3 will be a key element of the constellation of altimetry satellites in the years ahead. Succeeding Jason-2, it boasts a number of enhancements to its systems and in processing of the data it will deliver.
The satellite is built around a Proteus bus carrying a typical suite of altimetry mission instruments that will acquire highly accurate measurements of ocean surface height to extend the data record compiled by Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2. The orbit is the traditional T/P-Jason orbit -non-sun-synchronous, 1336 km, 66° inclination on a Proteus platform.