The JASON-3 satellite is composed of:
- a PROTEUS platform (Plateforme Reconfigurable pour l'Observation, pour les Télécommunications et les Usages Scientifiques). This platform is designed for satellites weighing approximately 500 kg when launched.
- a payload with the following main instruments:
- A Poseidon-3 altimeter, measuring the distance between the satellite and the sea surface, and used to perform precise corrections in relation to the signal trajectory in the ionosphere (CNES contribution).
- An AMR (Advanced Microwave Radiometer), designed to identify the water content in the troposphere (NASA contribution).
- A DORIS system used for precise orbit determination (CNES contribution).
- A GPSP system (GPS Payload), in addition to DORIS, to calculate satellite positioning (NASA contribution).
- An LRA (Laser Reflected Area) instrument used for the precise calibration of other instruments for the analysis of laser pulses conducted from the ground and reflected on board by an array of mirrors (NASA contribution).
- and two 'passenger' instruments:
|S-Band telemetry||838.86 kbits/s for telemetry,|
4 kbits/s for telecommand
|Mission lifetime||5 years|
NASA has selected SpaceX to launch Jason-3 aboard a Falcon9.