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Associated Platforms

Spectral/Frequency Information
Wavelength Keyword: Microwave
Spectral/Frequency Coverage/Range: 38.5 dBm (Ku-band); 44 dBm (C-band)

Related Data Sets
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Poseidon-2 is a nadir-looking radar altimeter that maps the topography of the sea surface. Derived from the Poseidon-1 (ALT) altimeter on Topex/Poseidon, it measures sea level, wave heights and wind speed determined from the shape and strength of the radar-return pulse. The altimeter emits a radar beam that is reflected back to the antenna from the Earth's surface. Poseidon-2 operates at two frequencies (13.6 GHz in the Ku-band, 5.3 GHz in the C-band) to determine atmospheric electron content, which affects the radar signal path delay. These two frequencies also serve to measure the amount of rain in the atmosphere.

Poseidon-2 was designed by Alcatel Space Industries (ASPI) for CNES Toulouse Space Center, and is essentially an improved version of the Poseidon-1 altimeter that flies on TOPEX/Poseidon. Poseidon-2 improves on Poseidon-1 by adding a second frequency at 5.3 GHz, changing to digital technology, and using a new more powerful rad-hard microprocessor. It makes these improvements while keeping the same compact mass and size as its predecessor.

Key Poseidon-2 Facts
Heritage: Poseidon-1 radar altimeter (TOPEX/Poseidon)
Instrument Type: Dual-frequency radar Altimeter (Ku-band and C-band)
Scan Type: Fixed nadir-pointing beam
Transmitted Pulse Width: 105 s
Pulse Repetition Frequency: 2100 Hz (1800 Hz for Ku-band and 300 Hz for C-band)
Maximum Radio-Frequency Output
Power to Antenna: 38.5 dBm (Ku-band); 44 dBm (C-band)
Transmission Frequency: 13.575 GHz (Ku-band), 5.3 GHz (C-band)
Dimensions: Radio Frequency Unit (RFU): 42.2 cm 24.6 cm 24.5 cm;
Power Control (PC) Unit: 26.8 cm 20.5 cm 24.9 cm
Mass: 52 kg (dual-frequency, dual
configuration with one antenna)
Power: 66 W
DC Supply Bus: Unregulated 21\u201332 V
Duty Cycle: 100%
Thermal Operating Range: -5 to 35 C
Pointing Requirements (platform + instrument, 3): Control (Satellite): 0.33; Knowledge: < 0.1

Online Resources

Instrument Logistics
Data Rate: 22.5 kbps
Instrument Start Date: 2002-01-15
Instrument Owner: NASA