Surface Water and Ocean Topography

Surface Water and Ocean Topography Spacecraft Surface Water and Ocean Topography Spacecraft

An artist's concept of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite, which will complete the first global survey of Earth's surface water, measure how water bodies change over time and improve ocean circulation models to better predict weather and climate patterns. Image credit: NASA/JPl-Caltech

Mission Summary

Designed to make the first-ever global survey of Earth's surface water, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT, satellite will collect detailed measurements of how water bodies on Earth change over time. The satellite will survey at least 90 percent of the globe, studying Earth's lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans at least twice every 21 days to improve ocean circulation models, and weather and climate predictions, and aid in freshwater management around the world.

One of 15 missions listed in the 2007 National Research Council Decadal Survey as missions that NASA should implement in the coming decade, SWOT will be jointly developed and managed by NASA, the French Space Agency (CNES), and the Canadian Space Agency.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Nadir altimeter
- KA-band radar interferometer


Acronym: SWOT
 
Type: Orbiter
 
Status: Future
 
Launch Date: 2020
 
Target: Earth
 
Charles Bolden, left, and Centre National d'√Čtudes Spatiales (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall NASA-CNES Proceed on Surface Water and Ocean Mission

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