An Earth satellite designed to measure ocean surface topography with unprecedented accuracy, Topex/Poseidon spent 13-plus years in orbit improving understanding of ocean circulation and its impact on global climate. In addition to producing the first global views of seasonal current changes, it enabled scientists to forecast and better understand the El Nino phenomenon of the late 1990s.

Topex/Poseidon was a joint project between NASA and France's National Center for Space Studies, or CNES.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Radar altimeter
- Microwave radiometer
- Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA)
- Global Positioning System Demonstration Receiver (GPSDR)
- Doppler Orbitography Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS)
- Single-Frequency Poseidon Altimeter (SSALT)

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