Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Jason-3 satellite successfully launched, will provide marine data to EU's Copernicus programme

Jason-3 satellite successfully launched, will provide marine data to EU's Copernicus programme
Published on: 18/01/2016
The Jason-3 satellite for high-precision ocean altimetry was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 19:42 CEST (10:42 Pacific Time) on 17 January 2016.

Control of the satellite was then taken over by the French national space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), which will perform early orbit phase operations such as configuration of the platform and the payload over the next few days.

Jason-3 will perform measurements of ocean waves and ocean surface topography, representing essential inputs to numerical forecasts of sea state and ocean currents used in operational oceanography. Jason-3 measurements will also be used by numerical models coupling the atmosphere and the oceans for seasonal forecasting.

Within the EU’s Copernicus programme, Jason-3 is the reference mission for cross-calibrating Sentinel-3 observations of sea surface height and is the precursor to the future cooperative Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission implemented in partnership between Europe and the United States.

Jason-3 will provide key input data to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), which provides regular and systematic reference information on the physical state of the global ocean and the European regional seas, in particular for the generation of CMEMS sea-level products.


Jason-3 is the result of an international partnership between EUMETSAT, CNES, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the European Union, which funds European contributions to Jason-3 operations as part of its Copernicus Programme. EUMETSAT, CNES and NOAA will process data from Jason-3, with EUMETSAT being responsible for data services to users of the EUMETSAT and EU countries on behalf of the EU's Copernicus Programme.