Jason-2/OSTM takes over and continues Topex/Poseidon and Jason-1 missions in 2008, in the frame of a cooperation between Cnes, Eumetsat, Nasa and Noaa. It carries the same kind of payload than its two predecessors, for an high-accuracy altimetry mission: a Poseidon-class altimeter, a radiometer and three location systems. The orbit is also the same.

The Jason-2 payload includes the next generation of Poseidon altimeter (Poseidon-3, with the same general characteristics than Poseidon-2, but with a lower instrumental noise, an algorithm enabling a better tracking over land and ice, and the Doris location system. The accuracy should be of about 2.5 cm on the altimeter measurements.

Three new instruments (T2L2, LPT, Carmen-2) are moreover onboard, to study radiations in the satellite environment (LPT, Carmen-2), and to measure a laser path delay. Besides their scientific interest, these instruments should allow to enhance data quality and accuracy.

From 2008 to Oct.2016, Jason-2 is located on its nominal orbit. From Oct.2016 (at the end of cycle 303 and until cycle 327), after more than 8 years of service on this nominal ground track, Jason-2 swifted to the interleaved orbit that was used by Topex from 2002-2005 and Jason-1 from 2009-2012. From July 2017 (beginning cycle 500), Jason-2 operates on a new long-repeat orbit (LRO) at roughly 1309.5 km altitude. From July 2018 (beginning cycle 600), Jason-2 operates on an interleaved long repeat orbit (i-LRO), for the second geodetic cycle, on a ground track in the middle of the grid defined by the first geodetic cycle. 

Satellite  Jason-2
Launch on  20/06/2008
End Date 
Altitude  1336 km
Inclination  66 °
Repetitivity  9.9156 days
Agency  Cnes/Nasa/Eumetsat/Noaa
Goals  Measure sea surface height

Further information:

  • Data: Real-time, near-real time, delayed-time

External websites :