Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich

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The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich mission implemented through the two Jason-CS satellites (Jason-CS A and Jason-CS B), aims to continue high precision ocean altimetry measurements in the 2020–2030 time-frame.

A secondary objective is to collect high resolution vertical profiles of temperature, using the GNSS Radio-Occultation sounding technique, to assess temperature changes in the troposphere and stratosphere and to support Numerical Weather Prediction.

Satellite characteristics

Launch Date - End 10 November 2020 - 10 November 2027

Status Planned

Orbit type non-sun-synchronous "Jason orbit"

Altitude 1336 km

Orbit inclination 66°

Orbit period 112 min 26 sec

Satellite family: Jason (Joint Altimetry Satellite Oceanography Network)

Jason is the name of a joint CNES/NASA oceanography mission series with the objective to monitor global ocean circulation, discover the tie between the oceans and atmosphere, improve global climate predictions, and to monitor events such as El Niño conditions and ocean eddies.

Sensor characteristics

Sensor name DORIS (Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated by Satellite)
Sensor short description
Sensor type Radar altimeter
Resolution class NA
Sensor name Poseidon-4 Sar Radar Altimeter
Sensor short description

The primary measurement system of SENTINEL-6 (JASON-CS), POSEIDON-4 is a fully redundant normal incidence Ku and C band pulse-width limited radar altimeter with the capability of acquiring phase coherent measurements of a surface allowing synthetic-aperture processing to improve along-track sampling and reducing range and Significant Wave Height (SWH) noise as a function of SWH.

Overall performances will be improved with respect to other ocean topography altimeter missions by means of improvements in the design and in an optiminsed pulse timing pattern.

Sensor type Radar altimeter
Resolution class
Spectral bandwidth Ku-band central frequency of 13.575 GHz, total bandwidth of 320 MHz C-band secondary frequency, used for ionosphere corrections, central frequency of 5.41 GHz, total bandwidth of 320 MHz
Sensor name AMR-C
Sensor short description

The AMR-C multi frequency NASA-JPL instrument extends the capability of the AMR of Jason -2 and -3 to retrieve Total Column of Water Vapour (TCWV) with the capability of minimising long-term drift by means of an on-board calibration mechanism and by periodic pointing of the platform (and radiometer) to deep space to obtain stable reference brightness temperatures. The manoeuvres option will also be used by Jason-3.

Sensor type
Resolution class