Jason-3 to Measure Ocean Surface for Improved Forecasting

Artist concept of Jason-3 in orbit with solar arrays deployedThe latest in a series of ocean-watching satellites will soon begin final preparations to take its place in Earth orbit. Jason-3 will measure wave heights, including the peaks and valleys across the surface of the world’s oceans. These ocean surface topography measurements will help scientists better understand circulation patterns and observe changes in sea level.

The 1,100-pound spacecraft is the fourth in a series of joint U.S. and European missions designed to monitor long-term sea level rise and provide vital information to forecasters. The program began in 1992 with the launch of TOPEX/Poseidon, and continued with Jason-1 in 2001 and OSTM/Jason-2 in 2008.

Jason-3 will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite will repeat the orbital track taken by its predecessors, measuring wave heights and wind speeds every 9.9 days. Its suite of instruments will produce highly accurate measurements to within at least 1.3 inches.

Stay tuned for our prelaunch milestone updates in the coming weeks! For more information on the Jason-3 mission, visit:

NASA’s Jason-3 Website
NOAA’s Jason-3 Website

Leave a Reply