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.

Further information:

  • G.Zaouche, OSTST 2011: Jason-3 overview, pdf
  • F.Parisot, S. Wilson, OSTST 2010: Jason-3 and Jason-CS, pdf
Satellite  Jason-3
Launch on  17/01/2016
End Date 
Altitude  1336 km
Inclination  66°
Repetitivity  10 days
Agency  Cnes/Nasa/Eumetsat/Noaa
Goals  Measure sea surface height