July 5, 2016


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:

    • CARMEN3 dosimeter used to improve knowledge of particularly aggressive radiation in Jason's orbit (DORIS, electronic risk assessment) (CNES contribution).
    • LPT (Light Particles Telescope) another dosimeter (JAXA/CNES contribution).

JASON-3 satellite main characteristics
Mass510 kg
Power703 W
S-Band telemetry838.86 kbits/s for telemetry,
4 kbits/s for telecommand
Mission lifetime5 years

NASA has selected SpaceX to launch Jason-3 aboard a Falcon9.

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