The Jason-2 Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM), launched on 15 June 2008, will produce and distribute three global data products to users: OGDR (Operational Geophysical Data Record) in near-real time (three hours); IGDR (the Interim Geosphysical Data Record) and GDR (Geophysical Data Record). These three products cover ocean parameters and use the same basic format.
The routine oceanography mission of the Jason-2/OSTM has begun in the middle of December 2008, when the instruments on its board started disseminating the first near-real-time OGDR. Consequently, these data are now available and distributed to operational meteorology users, while the offline data would be accessible later in 2009.
OGDR, a new operational product specifically developed for Jason-2/OSTM, will give information about the surface wind speed and wave features, and an initial estimate of sea surface height. Accordingly OGDR would feed data to meteorological organisations for near-real-time ocean condition forecasting and will be especially useful for numerical weather prediction.
With regard to the management of data, EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) and NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) will be in charge with processing and distribution of data received from their respective grand stations, as well as distribution of operational products to the users.
Processed OGDR data will be disseminated over the EUMETCast satellite broadcasting system or through data networks and the Global Telecommunication System network. ECMWF (the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting), Méteo-France, NOAA, Met Office (UK), and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute are amongst the key users.
Both off-line products IGDR (providing data for use in medium-range weather forecasting, seasonal forecasting and ocean weather applications) and GDR (providing data for climate monitoring and climate modelling) are generated by CNES (the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), the French space agency, and distributed by CNES and NOAA.