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The Swot satellite is planned to carry onboard a wide-swath altimeter-interferometer in Ka-Band (KaRIn), as well as the usual complement on altimetry satellites : precise location systems and radiometer. 

Designed by Thales Alenia Space, the SWOT platform differs from most of low orbit satellites by its exceptional scale imposed by the power consumed by the radar, its stability and pointing requirements and its micro-vibrations control.

The main instrument KaRIN (Ka band wide-swath interferometric altimeter) will provide a two-dimensional image of the surface (two 60 km-swath on each side of the vertical of the satellite). The measurement is based on the phase difference of the signal received by the two antennas. Designed by JPL, this instrument represents a technological leap compared to conventional altimetry. KaRIN incorporates an analogic part of the radar provided by Thales Alenia Space Toulouse.

Other instruments of the payload:

  • A nadir altimeter (Poseidon-3-like, heritage of classical altimetry)
  • A microwave radiometer
  • 3 systems GPS / DORIS / LRA for precise orbit determination.

Credits Thales Alenia Space
Credits Thales Alenia Space
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