Project Description
Jason-1 is the first follow-on to the highly successful TOPEX/Poseidon
mission that measured ocean surface topography to an accuracy of 4.2
cm, enabled scientists to forecast the 1997-1998 El Nino, and improved
understanding of ocean circulation and its effect of global
climate. The joint NASA-CNES program launched Jason-1 on December 7,
2002 from Vandenberg AFB, CA. Like TOPEX/Poseidon, the payload
includes both American and French instruments. Jason-1 altimeter data
is part of a suite of data provided by other JPL-managed ocean
missions--the GRACE mission will use two satellites to accurately
measure Earth's mass distribution, and the QuikSCAT scatterometer
mission will measure ocean-surface winds.

From the moment the Jason-1 project began in September 1993 to the
official memorandum of understanding in December 1996 and the
satellite launch in December 2002, cooperation between CNES and NASA
has been the driving force behind its success. The two space agencies
have combined their expertise in satellite design and operation,
particularly for the ground segment-the nerve centre of the
mission. NASA has responsibility for satellite control and the
instruments it is supplying. To operate the satellite and process and
exploit data, CNES has developed the SSALTO multimission altimetry
centre. SSALTO also processes data from TOPEX/Poseidon and Envisat,
and controls and operates the Poseidon and DORIS instruments
(including DORIS on the Spot series of satellites). JPL also uses
SSALTO for Jason-1.

For more information on Jason-1, see:


For more information on Earth Science Enterprise (ESE), see: