NOAA Logo National Centers for Environmental Information

formerly the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)...  more on NCEI

NOAA Satellite and Information Service

NCEI is transitioning to a new website and paths to data resources will be changing. Please contact with any questions of issues. See the new website at

You are here: NODC Home > Satellite Oceanography Team > NCEI Jason Archive > Details
Logo Image of NODC Satellite Oceanography Team

NCEI OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 Archive Details

Back to NCEI Jason Archive Home

Archive Requirements

The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), as the designated archive for the OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 data, is a segment of the NOAA Jason Ground System (NJGS). As the public interface to the Jason mission data, NCEI is committed to providing high-quality archive services and data discovery, access and visualization methods to support a wide range of audiences from the general public to expert members of the Ocean Surface Topography Science Team (OSTST) and members of the OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 Science Working Teams.

Archive Services

All critical archive functions necessary for the preservation of OSTM/Jason-2 data have been established and rigorously tested through the comprehensive NOAA and Four Partner Operational Readiness Reviews. An ISO description for each OSTM/Jason-2 data family has been written and is available in CLASS. ISO 19115 descriptions for Jason-3 has been developed in 2015. Quality Assurance for OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 at ingest into the archive is maintained using a system known as NRTAVS, which was developed by JPL under contract with NOAA. It extends the near real time quality monitoring established for Jason-1 to include OSTM/Jason-2. NCEI has also established the Jason Rich Inventory (JRI) system for OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 Interim and Final Geophysical Data Records which is being enhanced and operationalized for Jason-3. At present, standards-based services such as direct ftp, http and OPeNDAP for the X-GDR data are supported directly by NCEI although these functions are anticipated to transition to CLASS at some point in the future. The NCEI archive accessions for the six OSTM/Jason-2 datatypes are given below. Note that these links point only to the metadata:

  1. Level-2 X-Geophysical Data Records (O/I/GDR)
  2. Ancillary Files
  3. Auxiliary Files
  4. Near Real-Time Altimetry Validation System (NRTAVS) QA Reports
  5. Orbital Information
  6. Packet Telemetry
Deep storage of all the mission data and information (including raw telemetry and other restricted access files) is being accomplished through the use of NOAA's Comprehensive Large-Array Stewardship System (CLASS).At present, access through CLASS is the only way to obtain the ancillary, auxiliary, NRTAVS, and orbital information and the raw telemetry. Access to ancillary data and raw telemetry is restricted.

Archive Roles

NCEI has provided leadership in preservation planning and stewardship oversight of the entire archive process, including high-level access to and visualization of the science data as well as efforts to ensure its quality, and its connection with data from the other altimeter missions, including GEOSAT, which is now also preserved for the long-term in the NCEI archive.

History of the OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 Submission Agreement

In early 2005, based on a Request to Archive process under consideration by the Data Archive Board (now known as the Data Management Committee), it was agreed that the drafting of an archive Submission Agreement would be the appropriate way to clearly establish and document the OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 archive strategy. This Submission Agreement would document the relationships between the Archive, consisting of CLASS and NCEI, and the Producer, consisting of the NOAA Environmental Satellite Processing Center (ESPC), which generates the local OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 products and provides those created by CNES. The negotiations to create this Submission Agreement were conducted by Kenneth Casey for NCEI, Jeremy Throwe for CLASS, and John Lillibridge of NESDIS STAR, who represented the NOAA, EUMETSAT, and CNES producers. The process of drafting the OSTM/Jason-2 and Jason-3 Submission Agreement gained momentum as the partners realized that the negotiations were addressing critical questions related to the short-term usability and the long-term understanding and preservation of the data. The partners all agreed that standards-compliant formats would be critical, and netCDF with Climate/Forecast (CF) file-level metadata attributes was chosen to store the mission products. Standard names for altimetry observations were debated within the CF community and are now under consideration for approval. Greater unrestricted access to the full mission data was advocated, with some successes. The great majority of the mission data and all mission products are publicly available, but CNES still requires limited access to some ancillary fields provided by ECMWF and to telemetry data.


  Last modified:    Tue, 12-Jun-2018 19:27 UTC
Dept. of Commerce - NOAA - NESDIS - NCEI
* Offsite Link Notification - The U.S. Government's Web Portal