A satellite which may help scientists make more accurate climate and weather predictions by monitoring the shape of the world's oceans launched last Friday morning from California. Jason-2, a joint project between NASA and CNES, the French space agency, will send back a topographic map of 95 percent of the planet's ice-free oceans every 10 days. The readings will help researchers track sea level fluctuations and the movements of water bodies around Earth.
At the heart of the satellite lies the Poseidon 3 solid-state altimeter, reports BBC's Jonathan Amos. Jason. The technology allows the satellite to take pinpoint accurate readings of ocean surface height by bouncing and timing microwave pulses off the sea surface.
Some other uses for the satellite could include maritime navigation, storm prediction, whale watching and industry activities like cable laying or undersea drilling.
Posted by Jason McManus. Adapted from BBC News: Key ocean mission goes into orbit.
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