Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is a satellite altimeter project that aims to make the first global survey of Earth's surface water and measure how these bodies change over time. SWOT is a collaboration between NASA and CNES, with the support of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Background

SWOT builds on a long-standing partnership between NASA and CNES to measure the surface of the ocean using radar altimetry. Past satellite missions like the Jason series have provided information on river and lake water surface elevations at specific locations, but SWOT will provide the first truly global observations of changing water levels, stream slopes, and inundation extents in rivers, lakes, and floodplains.

Scientific objectives

The mission's science goals include providing sea surface heights and terrestrial water heights over a wide swath, with a posting every 2 km x 2 km over the deep oceans and a precision of 2.7 cm at 1 km x 1 km or 1.35 cm at 2 km x 2 km when averaged over the area. Over land, the satellite will produce a water mask that can resolve 100 m wide rivers and 250 m x 250 m lakes and reservoirs, with an accuracy of 10 cm for water bodies with non-vegetated surface areas greater than 1 km2. SWOT will cover at least 86% of the globe, overflying Earth from 78� S to 78� N.

Mission

SWOT is designed for the study and monitoring of inland waters and the oceans, with applications in managing water sharing issues, improving weather and climate forecasting, and managing freshwater for urban, industrial, and agricultural consumption.

Lifetime

SWOT is designed for a mission lifetime of three years.

Summary

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is a joint effort between NASA and CNES to make the first global survey of Earth's surface water and measure how these bodies change over time. The mission has a range of scientific objectives, including providing precise measurements of sea surface heights and terrestrial water heights, and producing a water mask with detailed information on rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. SWOT will have numerous applications, including improving our understanding of water sharing issues, aiding in weather and climate forecasting, and helping with the management of freshwater for various purposes. The mission is expected to last for three years.

Written by princy

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