Assembly of a satellite to monitor water transfers around the world from the United States to France

The information that SWOT will provide on small-scale ocean currents will also support real-time ocean activities such as navigation that are affected by tides, currents, storm surges and other natural phenomena. And SWOT data will, for the first time, provide global observations of how circular currents, called eddies, affect how the ocean stores heat and releases it into the atmosphere, as well as how carbon moves in the marine environment.

Several engineers and technicians from JPL follow the equipment to France. Once there, they will help their counterparts from CNES and their prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, to complete the construction. Once done, SWOT will return to California, where it will be launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base no earlier than November 2022.

Learn more about the mission

SWOT is jointly developed by NASA and CNES, with contributions from CSA and UKSA. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., Is leading the US component of the project. For the payload of the flight system, NASA is providing the Ka-Band Radar Interferometer Instrument (KaRIn), a GPS scientific receiver, a laser retroreflector and a two-beam microwave radiometer. CNES provides the Doppler Orbitography and Radioposition Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) system, the nadir altimeter and the KaRIn RF subsystem (with the support of the UKSA). CSA supplies the KaRIn high power transmitter assembly. NASA provides associated launch services.

To learn more about the mission, visit:

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Travis Durham

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