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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
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Eumetsat: "Jason-2 Progressing to Plan"
November 01, 2006

Jason-2 satellite bus integration
Jason-2 satellite bus integration
Image credit: CNES and Alcatel
The Ocean Surface Topography Mission
on board the Jason-2 satellite (OSTM/
Jason-2) remains on schedule for launch
in mid-2008, following a fruitful summer
constructing the satellite and its payload
of instruments. NASA and CNES expect
to complete their respective instruments
by the end of the year, upon which they
will be shipped to Alcatel's Toulouse site
for integration into the satellite platform
in early 2007 and to undergo validation
tests.

"Some issues were discovered for the
instruments, but that's only to be expected
during such a critical phase," reports
Francois Parisot, EUMETSAT's Programme
Manager of the Jason-2 mission.
"Nevertheless, we are still en route for a
mid-2008 launch."

Following an internal review, conducted
by EUMETSAT in September, the next major
milestone will be the review of the system
interface in mid-December. Meanwhile,
maintenance teams have undergone
training sessions for the earth terminal,
hardware and other aspects of the core
ground segment at the mission's primary
ground station at Usingen, Germany.

Looking to the future, initial preparations
are already in the pipeline for Jason-3, the
follow-on programme to OSTM/Jason-2,
which would be required to be operational
from 2013. EUMETSAT is also working
closely with NOAA, CNES and the other
partners to define the Jason-3 concept
with regard to the on-board instruments,
development and costs for presentation at
the autumn Council meeting. EUMETSAT and
ESA are currently negotiating and defining
their respective roles with reference to the
Sentinel-3 series of satellites, which will
also have an ocean altimetry function.

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