February 16, 2016

Jason-3 reaches operational orbit

The Jason-3 satellite reached its final working orbit on 12 February.

The Jason-3 satellite reached its final orbit on 12 February at 1:07 UTC, less than 26 days after launching from the United States, and is now trailing just 80 seconds behind Jason-2. This precise orbital positioning—necessary to intercalibrate the two satellites’ instruments—was successfully performed by teams at CNES in Toulouse through a series of 9 manoeuvres between 22 January and 12 February.

Jason-3 has now officially begun its mission and the 5-month ‘verification’ phase is underway to assess the quality of its oceanography data products. At the same time, in-orbit checkout of the satellite and ground segment operated in close cooperation by the 4 partner agencies—CNES, Eumetsat, NASA and NOAA—is ongoing and the results are expected in mid-April.

Jason-3. Credits: CNES/ill D. Ducros.

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