Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel, has been chosen by French space agency CNES to build the Jason-2 spatial oceanographic satellite.
The satellite, designed to monitor oceans and climate, will carry on the mission of Jason-1, launched on December 7, 2001.
The 40 million Euro CNES contract covers manufacture of the Poseidon-3 altimeter – the primary instrument for the mission – plus a payload module to manage all the instruments, and the assembly, integration and testing of the satellite.
The PROTEUS platform to be used for the satellite is covered by a contract for five platforms that Alcatel Space has already received from CNES.
Jason-2 will carry on its predecessor’s mission of monitoring and precisely measuring the oceans. In addition, Jason-2 will incorporate the experimental Wide Swath Ocean Altimeter (WSOA), supplied by NASA, to enhance spatial coverage. The WSOA instrument enables measuring meso-scale phenomena such as vortices inside ocean currents to improve models of ocean circulation.
The satellite will be placed into the same orbit at Jason-1, at an altitude of 1,336 kilometers, inclined 66 degrees, to provide virtually complete coverage of ice-free oceans. It will weigh about 600 kilos at launch, and have 550W of power.
Jason-2 is a joint program that is organised by CNES, NASA, NOAA and Eumetsat.