The planet gear SARAL was successfully thrown on February 25th, 2013 since the space center of Satish Dhawan, in the South of India. It includes the laser reflector LRA realized by Thales SESO constituted by 9 corners of cube.
The AltiKa project developed by the CNES is based on an altimeter in band Ka wide band (35.75 GHz, 500MHz), 1st oceanographic altimeter using a frequency so high. This technical specificity in fact a powerful instrument, in terms of space and vertical resolution. It is capable of supplying more precise measurements for a better observation of ices, coastal zones, areas of continental waters as well as the height of waves.
The high-resolution altimeter AltiKa integrates a radiometric bi-frequency function allowing to adjust the altimetric measurements of the effects linked to the crossing of the wet troposphere. It is coupled with the system of orbitographie specify Doris, associated with a laser reflector, to determine exactly the position of the planet gear on its orbit (precision = cm!). This parameter is important for the measurement of the sea level.