National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce


Data Description

    Jason-2 and Jason 3 Level-2 Operational, Interim and Final Geophysical Data Records (X-GDR), 2008-present ((NODC Accession 0043269 and 0122595) - The Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/JASON-2 and JASON-3 are follow-on missions continuing the TOPEX/Poseidon and JASON-1, and were designed to ensure continuity of high quality measurements for ocean science and to provide operational products for assimilation and forecasting applications. The missions are a joint effort by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), France’s Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The OSTM/JASON-2 satellite was launched on 20 June 2008 and reached its nominal repetitive orbit on 4 July 2008. The level-2 Geophysical Data Records (GDR) are available as 3 datatypes: Operational Geophysical Data Records (OGDR), Interim Geophysical Data Records (IGDR) and final Geophysical Data Records (GDR). The OGDRs are near-real-time records and are generated every 3-5 hours. They are based on orbits from DORIS propagator and forecast meteorological fields for the geophysical corrections. The IGDRs are based on preliminary DORIS ephemeris, analyzed meteorological grids, and preliminary auxiliary data files. The IGDRs have a latency of 1-2 days. The S-IGDR is a superset of the IGDR, containing the original radar echo "waveform" data. The GDRs are based on final high-precision DORIS (perhaps combined with GPS) ephemeris, final meteorological grids, ancillary and auxiliary data files. The S-GDR is a superset of the GDR, containing the waveform data. Sea Surface Height Anomaly (SSHA) files are available for IGDR and GDR. All files are available in NetCDF format and the OGDRs are also available in BUFR format. Jason-2 X-GDR data are archived at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) as NODC accession number 0043269 ( The development of the JASON-3 mission, and related Ground Segment, is based on a recurrent JASON satellite and ground system with a similar partnership scheme to JASON-2. JASON-3 features the Poseidon-3B altimeter, developed by Thales Alenia Space in Toulouse. The JASON-3 satellite is planned to be launched in 2016. The satellite will be placed in the same orbit as JASON-2, at an altitude of 1,336 kilometers with an inclination of 66 degrees, to provide virtually blanket coverage of all ice-free ocean surfaces. JASON-3 X-GDR data follows the structure and filetypes as that of JASON-2 data. JASON-3 X-GDR data will be archived at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) as NODC accession number 0122595 (

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Operational GDRs
Jason Operational GDR - NetCDF
Jason Operational GDR - BUFR
Jason Operational GDR Sea Surface Height Anomaly - NetCDF
Intermediate GDRs
Jason Interim GDR - NetCDF
Jason Interim Sensor GDR - NetCDF
Jason Interim GDR Sea Surface Height Anomaly - NetCDF
Final GDRs
Jason Final GDR - NetCDF
Jason Final Sensor GDR - NetCDF
Jason Final GDR Sea Surface Height Anomaly - NetCDF

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