Ocean Topography Experiment

Project Description
TOPEX/Poseidon is an oceanography mission to monitor global ocean
circulation, improve global climate predictions, and monitor events
such as El Nino conditions and ocean eddies. These data have
revolutionized our understanding of the role of ocean in formation of
the Earth's weather and climate. The TOPEX/Poseidon satellite carried
a radar altimeter. It was a joint mission between France and the USA.
Weather and climate change. Disaster management, early warning for
homeland security, carbon management, coastal zone management.


Launched: August 10, 1992
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana


Altitude: 1,336 km
Inclination: 66 degree


Weight: 2388 kg
Power: 3,385 watts
Design Life: 5 years


Microwave radiometer
GPS receiver
Laser retroreflector array
Dual frequency NASA radar altimeter
Single frequency CNES radar altimeter
DORIS: Doppler tracking system receiver

For more informaion on TOPEX/Poseidon, see

For more information on the Earth Science Enterprise, see