Jason-2 ceased operations

#Seas & Oceans, #EUMETSAT

Published on 7 October 2019

After more than eleven years in orbit and well beyond its three- to five-year mission baseline, the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) on Jason-2 permanently ceased acquisition of scientific data at 06:48 UTC on 1 October 2019 due to ageing-related issues onboard the spacecraft. 

Jason-2, a joint NOAA/NASA/CNES/EUMETSAT satellite mission, delivered detailed oceanographic data vital to our understanding of weather forecasting and climate change monitoring. One of its major objectives was to support operational oceanography. Oceans are a major source of food and employment, but can also pose a threat to lives and values, so operational forecasts of the ocean 'weather' are of critical importance. The altimeters on Jason-2 were essential components of a global ocean observation system, providing co-located measurements of significant wave height, wind speed and sea surface topography.

Over its lifetime, Jason-2 collected vital data on decadal (10-yearly) oscillations in large ocean basins, monitored the El Niño and La Niña phenomena, and was an important tool in the study of climate change.

Data from Jason-2 were used for short-range ocean forecasts that can be used in a multitude of applications, ranging from the monitoring of fishing vessels over environmental protection all the way to harbour management. Apart from that, Jason-2 data also were essential in the creation of seasonal ocean forecasts.

The operations of younger brother Jason-3 remains nominal and its continued data production will not be affected in any way.