TOPEX Outreach
TOPEX/POSEIDON
Earth's Ocean Topography Experiment
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Objectives
  • Six-year global view of Earth's oceans
  • improved understanding of ocean currents
  • Improved forecasting of global environment
Highlights
  • U.S. - France (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales - CNES) program
  • Launched August 10, 1992, on Ariane 42P launch vehicle
  • Sensors:
    • Altimeters (NASA, CNES)
    • Microwave radiometer (NASA)
    • Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver (NASA)
    • Laser retroreflector (NASA)
    • Doppler tracking receiver (CNES)
  • Orbits Earth at 1336-km altitude, 66-degree inclination
  • 10-day repeat of ground tracks (+- 1-km accuracy)
  • Covers 95% of the ice-free oceans every 10 days
  • Unprecedented accuracy: sea-level measurements to within 5 cm
  • Has measured sea levels, mapped basin-wide current variations, monitored effects of currents on global climate change; studied El Niño phenomenon

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Backside panel 2 from the poster "Rise and Fall of the '97-'98 El Niño As Tracked By TOPEX/POSEIDON"


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Last Modified: Fri Jan 22, 1999
CSR/TSGC Team Web