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Mission Images:

Source: NASA-JPL/CalTech

Mission Objectives:

The Jason-CS mission is a joint oceanography mission to monitor global ocean circulation, climate change and sea-level rise. The Sentinel-6A Michael Freilich/Jason-CSA satellite is the follow-on to the TOPEX/POSEIDON, Jason-1, Jason-2 and Jason-3 satellites.

The Jason-CS Programme – established under Declaration EUM/C/83/15/Dcl.I – constitutes EUMETSAT's direct contribution to the funding, development and implementation of the Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission, also involving ESA, EU, NOAA, NASA, and CNES.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS aims to continue high precision ocean altimetry measurements in the 2020–2030 time-frame using two successive, identical satellites, Sentinel-6/Jason-CS-A and Sentinel-6/Jason-CS-B. A secondary objective of Sentinel-6 is to collect high resolution vertical profiles of temperature, using the GNSS Radio-Occultation sounding technique, to assess temperature changes in the troposphere and stratosphere and to support Numerical Weather Prediction.

The two Sentinel-6/Jason-CS satellites are planned to have 5.5 years lifetime each (plus 2 years consumables). The Sentinel-6A/Jason-CS-A satellite will be launched in the end of 2020 to guarantee adequate overlap with Jason-3, whereas the Sentinel-6B/Jason-CS-B will be launched in 2025 and will provide full continuity of service until 2030 and beyond.

Precision orbit determination is a fundamental requirement for achieving the goals of the Jason-CS mission. The SLR data play an important role in two ways (1) providing· strong tracking information to complement GNSS and DORIS, and (2) providing a unique and unambiguous verification of the absolute radial orbit accuracy.

Mission Parameters:
Satellite name: Sentinel-6A/Jason-CS-A
Expected Life: 5.5 years
Primary Applications: Ocean altimetry, vertical temperature profiles
SIC Code: 4380
Launch Date: 10 November 2020
RRA Size:  
RRA Shape: spherical surface
Reflectors: 9 cubes
Size of Reflector: ∼ 32mm diameter
Orbit: slightly elliptical
Orbital period: 6745.7605 seconds
Inclination: 66.042 degrees
Altitude: Min 1339.4 km / Max 1355.9 km
Eccentricity: 0.000098 degrees


Related Information:
Other information:
  • ESA yearly reports on Sentinel-6 mission support