The Chinese and French Space Agencies are jointly preparing a satellite mission devoted to the monitoring of the ocean surface and related science and applications. This is the so-called “China France Oceanography SATellite” (CFOSAT), to be launched around 2013. This mission will provide simultaneous and collocated observations of wind at the ocean surface and spectral properties of surface ocean waves using two scatterometers, both in Ku-Band: SWIM for measurements of directional wave spectra and SCAT for wind vector measurements. The SWIM instrument will use a real aperture observation technique so as to avoid limitations encountered with SAR systems. This paper describes the main objectives and characteristics of the mission with a focus on the SWIM instrument designed and developed under French responsibility to measure directional spectra of ocean waves.

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