Oceanography satellites orbit determination and geodesy beacon (DORIS)

The DORIS beacon now located at the Light Sensitive Cabin (Brandal) is part of a network of 60 ground stations distributed around the globe, which aims at providing uplink precise orbit determination data to earth observation satellites and make geodesy and geophysics studies. DORIS contributes to the Geodetic Earth Observatory of Ny-Alesund.

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Project type

  • remote sensing


  • oceanography
  • space physics

Project Keywords

  • solid earth / tectonics / plate tectonics
  • solid earth / geodetics/gravity / reference systems
  • solid earth / geodetics/gravity / polar motion
  • climate indicators / atmospheric/ocean indicators / sea level rise
  • climate indicators / atmospheric/ocean indicators / sea surface temperature indices
  • oceans / sea surface topography / sea surface height

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Type Period From To Coordinates Station Location
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{{ | number : 6}}°N, {{fieldwork.long | number : 6}}°E
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CNES (French Space Agency), IGN (mapping and survey agency) and GRGS (space geodesy research group) developed the DORIS system to achieve precise orbit determination of low earth orbit satellites and precise positioning of ground beacons for geodesy applications. Satellites currently using DORIS are mostly space oceanography satellites like Jason-2/3 (CNES, NASA, NOAA, EUMETSAT), Cryosat-2 (ESA), Saral (ISRO), HY-2A (NSOAS), Sentinel-3A/B (ESA, EUMETSAT) and in the future Sentinel-3C/D and SWOT (CNES, NASA). Imaging satellites like Pleiades-1A/B (and formerly SPOT-2/4/5) are using DORIS too. DORIS system is currently the only one to provide on-board and in real-time the satellite position with an accuracy of 3cm RMS (on the radial component) which is essential to the accuracy of space oceanography measurements (sea surface topography, ocean circulation, waves, ...) The system is composed of a constellation of satellites on-board receivers and a dense network of 60 ground stations well-distributed around the globe, among which Ny-Alesund station. In Ny-Alesund, the DORIS station also contributes to the Geodetic Earth Observatory managed by the Norwegian Mapping Authority, that's why the station was relocated close to the observatory in Brandal in october 2018. The DORIS station of Ny-Alesund has been one of the best of the network in term of quality of its data and lenght of the time series (as the first beacon was installed in 1987).

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