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OSTM mission graphic

Ocean Surface Topography Mission

Phase: Operating

Launch Date: June 20, 2008

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Program(s):Earth Systematic Missions

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The Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) is a joint effort by four organizations to measure sea surface height by using a radar altimeter mounted on a low-Earth orbiting satellite called Jason-2. The four mission participants are:

* National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
* National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
* France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
* European Meteorological Satellite Organisation (EUMETSAT)

This satellite altimetry mission provides sea surface heights for determining ocean circulation, climate change and sea-level rise. The Jason-2 satellite is the follow-on to the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites. The research satellites, TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason-1, have been instrumental in meeting NOAA’s operational need for sea surface height measurements necessary for ocean modeling, forecasting El Niño/La Niña events, and hurricane intensity prediction.

Under the OSTM program NOAA will provide support from its satellite ground segment capabilities for management of the Jason-2 Satellite flight operations during its routine operational phases and to acquire, produce, and distribute geophysical data in a manner beneficial to all interested users.