Where There's Water...There's SWOT

  • Released Wednesday, December 28th, 2022
  • Updated Monday, March 4th, 2024 at 12:39AM
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The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, NASA's first global survey of Earth's surface water, lifted off on its way to low-Earth orbit on Friday, December 16, 2022. SWOT will tackle pressing issues, from availability of Earth’s freshwater resources to our changing ocean and coasts, and much more. These studies will aid in achieving societal goals of clean air and water, preparedness for extreme events, and adaptation to long-term environmental changes on continental scales.

Using state-of-the-art radar interferometry to measure the elevation of water, SWOT will observe major lakes, rivers and wetlands while detecting ocean features with unprecedented resolution. SWOT data will provide critical information that is needed to assess water resources on land, track regional sea level changes, monitor coastal processes, and observe small-scale ocean currents and eddies.

SWOT was built for NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES). SWOT also has contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the UK Space Agency.

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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory