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SWOT: satellite mission to survey Earth's surface waters launched successfully with a Canadian contribution onboard

A transmission spectrum made from a single observation using Webb's Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)

Artist rendering of the SWOT satellite in orbit over Earth. (Credit: CNES/MIRA Productions)

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission successfully launched on , from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. SWOT is the first-ever satellite to survey nearly all water on Earth. With its precise measurements, it will provide scientists with a better understanding of the dynamics of the world's oceans and terrestrial surface water, allowing them to address important issues like climate change and to improve water management.

Led by NASA and France's space agency (CNES), with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the United Kingdom Space Agency, SWOT will survey 90% of Earth's surface and observe the fine details of the ocean's surface topography, and measure how lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans are changing over time, in order to improve hydrological and oceanographic knowledge.

Canada has close to one million lakes and the longest shoreline in the world! We have so much to gain from this important mission.

Canada's contribution

The CSA contributed a set of extended interaction klystrons built by Communications & Power Industries Canada Inc. A unique Canadian expertise, this device will amplify the power needed by NASA's wide-swath instrument to generate the microwave pulses that will be used to measure water surface elevation.

Canada is also engaged in SWOT science activities. Canadian researchers from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as from University of Toronto, McGill University, Dalhousie University, Wilfrid Laurier University and Université Laval, are part of SWOT's science team. SWOT data will greatly improve the delivery of services related to key national priorities related to water, such as marine safety and security, water management, responsible resource development, environmental monitoring, fisheries, climate change adaptation, marine transportation and sustainable development in the North.

Discover more about SWOT and Canada's contribution.

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