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The CFOSAT orbit is repetitive with a 13-day cycle, sun-synchronous, at an altitude of 520 km and a inclination of 97.4°.

Localisation of Measurements: To identify the SWIM data to use for specific areas, a localization tool using google earth is available: download the user manual with the Google Earth CFOSAT file and the txt file giving the UTC starting dates of each cycle. The combined use of these two files allows the computation of CFOSAT passes over dates and times, within five to ten minutes’ precision, which should be sufficient for product selection or for campaign preparation.

Orbit requirements

A global coverage and a more frequent sampling lead to a good compromise on the repetitivity at 13 days.

The inclination allows a sun-synchronous orbit in order to minimize tides aliasing and monitor main water bodies on continents.  


Orbit parameters

Main characteristics  
Semi-major axis 6891.984 km
Eccentricity 0.000123
Inclination (non-sun-synchronous) 97.4779°
Argument of perigee 90°
Auxiliary data  
Reference altitude (equatorial) 520 km
Nodal period 94.9 min
Repeat cycle 13 days
Ground track separation at Equator 2645 km
Number of revolutions per day 15 + 2/13

Video showing CFOSAT ground tracks and ground stations.

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