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Impact of loss of Altimetry: ENVISAT & Jason-1

Date added: Wednesday 30th May 2012

The events concerning Jason-1 and ENVISAT are a reminder of the current fragility of the current altimetry constellation and constitute a substantial degredation of the system.

  • Jason-1 (10 years old) has suffered three safe hold modes, inducing mission unavailability between 16-29 February; and since 3 March 2012; start of geodetic phase, 7 May 2012 with  measuring of mesoscale features greatly degraded because the algorithms used by Jason-1 were designed for the older, higher orbit
  • ENVISAT loss of communication 8 April. ESA declares ENVISAT out of mission - 9 May 2012.
  • Cryosat 2 has been integrated (6 February) for near real time applications (DUACS/SLTAC); Cryosat-2 is not an oceanography satellite (best effort, payload sampling…);
  • Jason-2 (4 years) is the only solid asset

Despite altimetry underpinning many operational oceanographic services, it remains non-operational and unsecured.

In order to understand the impact of the degradation the GODAE OceanView (OSEval-TT co-chairs Gilles Larnicol & Peter Oke) have collated feedback from data users and modellers, to rasie this issue with the mission agencies (CNES & NASA).

Impact results can be viewed ............