BackForward Satellite Programme: Topography Experiment + Poseidon 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Single-satellite programme, for ocean altimetry.
  • Follow-on of GEOSat (1985-1990) and precursor of the JASON operational series.
  • Joint NASA-CNES programme, merging the CNES Poseidon and the NASA TOPEX: NASA provided the satellite bus, four instruments and spacecraft operations; CNES provided two instruments and the launch service.
  • Platform actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • Design lifetime: 3 years.
  • The satellite exploits the optimal orbit for altimetry of geodetic accuracy (66° inclination, 1336 km altitude).
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Onboard stored data downlinked to the Project Operations Control Center (POCC) at NASA/JPL, Pasadena, CA.
  • Data processed and distributed from the JPL Physical Oceanographic Distributed Active Archive Center (PODAAC), and the French Archiving, Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic data (AVISO).
Programme lifetime 1992 - 2005
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned