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Un tandem de choc

Image du mois - mai 2003

Depuis le 15 septembre 2002, Topex/Poséidon est sur une nouvelle orbite, à mi-chemin entre ses anciennes traces (maintenant celles de Jason-1). Cette configuration permet de disposer des mesures de deux altimètres de précision, intercalibrés, sur deux orbites similaires écartées de 158 km à l'équateur. Les grands espoirs que l'on fondait sur ce tandem se concrétisent : ensemble, les deux satellites permettent d'obtenir une bien meilleure résolution spatiale, avec l'avantage de repasser tous les dix jours au-dessus d'un même point.

Cette phase tandem scientifique illustre les possibilités d'une constellation de satellites altimétriques optimisés.

Comparaison des mesures le long d'une trace ERS-2 (trait noir sur les cartes ci-dessus) pour Jason-1 + T/P, Jason-1 seul et ERS-2. En particulier, un tourbillon assez important (40 cm de hauteur) situé vers 39-40°N n'est pas vu par Jason-1 seul, mais est bien repéré par le tandem. (Credits CLS, projet Gamble

 

 

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